Amelie has been providing psychosocial assistance to oncology patients and their relatives for long time. We are the only organization in the Czech Republic, which systematically and professionally provides support to the target group. The organization is based in Prague, Central Bohemia region, Olomouc and Liberec region. Amelie offers individual and group advisory, therapeutic, relaxing, active and motivational activities that promote social integration of patients and their families - to help overcome social isolation in which the disease gets them and return them to an active life, or even to work if possible. The organization aims to create support Centres for cancer patients and their loved ones in each region of the country.
Amelie is not patient association and it does not supplement medical care in any point. Rather it complements it with other special activities, with respect to all the professions.
Apart from the Centres Amelie also operates "Amelie Line", volunteer program in hospitals and Centres, training of professionals and a number of individual projects in support of the target groups.
Origin of Amelie
The project of psychosocial assistance was prepared by Pavla Ticha autumn 2005, at the time 36-year-old disability pensioner after the first cancer treatment. She had extensive experience in project management and marketing communications. She was certain that it is necessary to change many things in the system of care for oncological patients. She came as a volunteer to the ward of the Oncology Clinic 1st Faculty of Medicine, General University Hospital in Prague. Driven by a desire to "humanize" the system of care for cancer patients, she started to build an organization which vision has been unchanged since then.
Oncological disease is the second most common diagnosis leading to death, it also requires treatment that lasts months and often entitles to an invalidity pension (it is the second most common diagnosis leading to an invalidity pension). Number of the disease is increasing. Every third Czech in the course of his life will probably get oncological disease. In Prague every thirtieth person has oncological disease. Factors that people have to deal with are not just cost of disability pensions, how long they will receive pension, but also decline in family income and quality of life.
According to the research findings if cancer patient gets targeted psychosocial care it can lead to reduced treatment costs (L.Travado, IPOS: New Cancer Quality Standards, 2005). It's because the relevant information that is told in time reduces stress of the patient and his relatives. That increases the patient's competence to intervene and decide. Sick person also accepts treatment much better, which positively influences progression and duration of survival. Among chronically ill and their relatives it is also frequently developed chronic stress, which affects inflammation and hormonal levels, plus affects blood pressure and threatens cardiovascular health (Sephton and Spiegel, 2003), deteriorates experiencing pain (Sephton et al., 2000; Low et al ., 2009), increases mortality (Koopman et al., 1998) or increases the risk of developing cancer (Andersen et al., 2012).
Additionally, more than 50% of cancer patients suffer distress that has health implications. According to research by Tschuschke more than 50% of cancer patients has difficulty in mood disorders and anxiety. Activities such as yoga or physical activation have a demonstrable effect on physical fitness and reduce levels of stress hormones. Relaxation methods help to achieve healthier lifestyle and cope with excessive stress.
Individual activities are provided through consulting for individual meetings or interventions that are aimed at professional psychosocial counseling and crisis intervention. They are consultations from health and social worker, psychologist, psychotherapist and specialists for specific activities such as art therapist, ergo therapist, pharmacist and others. Special counselling, regarding male topics, is offered to men by male psychologist who should provide support to male population as well as counseling for families and partners.
They are divided on the nature of the activities and an activation of the patient. Both types, however, operate on the principles of group dynamics and social learning in a group. Activation activities, however, are more professionally oriented and support specific skills, developing them, in fact they are very clearly targeted. Whereas the type of patient activity are focused on sharing and guidance and allow the patient or his close rectify their ideas about the normality of the experienced and learning through concrete experience of others. An activation character group activities are focused to the needs of the target groups to deal with cancer - treatment acceptance, cooperation in the treatment of a disease with a long life - activities aimed at promoting lifestyle changes, activating a physical (exercise under professional supervision with regard to disease) and mental activation (promoting adoption of the changes, coping, stress prevention). Groups are run by Amelie employees and external staff. Group activities of patient character are focused on sharing personal experiences, support group, activating internal and external sources without targeted activities specialist who is present, but does not intervene. This type of activity is an integral part of all activities and naturally they are followed up and allows the audience more easily embrace the entire range of services in their very nature and informality.
These activities are targeted to handle a certain situation or accept the information. These include practicing relaxation techniques, the module After diagnosis, and activities focused on secondary and tertiary prevention of cancer. Preventive activities are regularly monthly changed by activities that should inform both patients and their relatives about current developments in the field of oncology and psycho- oncology, but it should also provide with information regarding various types of cancer diagnoses. They include lectures, workshops and discussions, as well as targeted information on the Web and cooperation with other organizations.
It has a nationwide reach and it is a low threshold. The line has two parts: Telephone Line - It runs every weekday between 9am and 3pm and offers contact with a specialist from Amelie. It offers crisis counseling, information and facilitating contacts, including those connecting to or cooperating organizations. The Internet line - It provides contact through e-mail and is available at any time, but the client receives an answer within five days latest. This Line offers crisis counselling, regular information services and in particular social and health-social counselling. It is operated by professionals Amelie.
Amelie, in accordance with its mission, wants to develop psychosocial services to oncology patients and their loved ones. An integral part of these services is also a volunteer work in hospitals in adult oncology patients and Amelie centers. Amelie offers professionally trained volunteers to several departments of Oncology Clinic at the University Hospital in Prague, Olomouc and Central Bohemia region. Volunteers also work in Amelie Centers, where they engage with clients and cooperate on some programme preparations.
We believe that our service can help. But our free service needs various forms of funding. We appreciate your help. Thank you in advance.
These are ways how you can help us:
• donation agreement: a completed donation agreement can be sent electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to Amelie, os, Šaldova 337/15, 186 00 Praha 8, or personally delivered to Amelie Centers.
• by bank transfer, send any amount to CZK current account Amelie 104034379/0800.
• cash: we are available every weekday or by telephone arrangement in our Centers
• through donor payment gateways
• by sending a donor sms
• by bank transfer or standing order repeatedly (eg. 100) to CZK Amelie collection account 229369762/0300.
• cash deposit in one of the sealed collection boxes (for example in hospitals etc).
You can also help by:
• donating office supplies, for example paper, toners and others.
• for volunteer programme in hospitals we are continuously looking for: magazines, tea, coffee, art supplies, as well as rewards for volunteers.
• we also need for Centers: crackers or other durable snacks, tea, coffee; hygiene supplies such. toilet paper, cleaning agents; art supplies.
What do I get ?
• great feeling from helping others in crisis. Thank you!
• possibility of tax deduction. Direct financial donations can be deducted from the tax base.
• you can see real positive contribution of your donation. You can get current info about activities inside Amelie on our web www.amelie-zs.cz, or a regular newsletter (please login to our newsletter), annual report and the latest news is on Facebook and youtube.
Poster for IPOS Congress (International Psycho-oncology Society ) in Vienna 2009
Project Return to work after oncological disease 2015
Poster for IPOS Congress about Psychosocial Care in Czech Republic
Poster for IPOS Congress about Art therapy
Understanding the needs of cancer patients in the Czech Republic
Poster for IPOS Congress about Cancer patinets needs in the Czech Republic