I believe in the power of psychology to make a difference.

As a trained psychologist who chose to write and publish about psychology rather than work as one, it’s not surprising that I believe that publishing can be a powerful tool to promote mental health and make a real difference in people’s lives. That’s why I established Australian Academic Press back in 1987 and why I have since published so many resources written by psychologists.

In 2013, when I published the first edition of the book Facing the Tiger: A Survivorship Guide for Men with Prostate Cancer and their Partners by Professor Suzanne Chambers AO, I was blown away by what she had achieved in a slim paperback. In psychological jargon it is a low intensity mental health intervention resource delivered as a self-help strategy. In simple terms — it makes a difference. Not just to the men diagnosed with cancer but also to their loved ones, struggling to understand and support their partner.

Suzanne’s work in the field of psych-oncology is truly impressive. Her commitment to men’s health, amazing. Her talent for communicating in language that men understand, vital and complete. Working on the new edition of Facing the Tiger in 2020 via phone and virtual meetings while the world tackled a global pandemic, impressed upon me how important psychosocial support is to both mental and physical health. That’s why I established this website.

Prostate cancer remains a frightening prospect for men. The disease, its treatments, its effects on the bodies and minds of men who have experienced a diagnosis, demands the immediate worldwide focus by the medical profession on psychosocial care. It is as vital to their survivorship as their medical treatment.

That means much more than just awareness of the psychological stress of prostate cancer, waiting for men to ask for help, or even asking them if they are okay. Men are notorious for not seeking help when they should. And psychology tells us that many of us are too good at hiding our own distress. One of the most frequently cited results from mental health intervention research is the high percentage of people suffering a clinical level of psychological disorder who do not get help.

The key to making a difference to the mental health of men with prostate cancer lies with the active application of an evidence-based survivorship care approach driven by the understanding that the patient experience is the central focus. Patient priorities and preferences should guide each step and each decision along the treatment journey.

I hope this website will help achieve that goal.

Stephen May

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