Psychosocial Support Programs & Classes

In light of the high rates of depression and anxiety that are common among those impacted by cystic fibrosis (CF), CFRI offers financial support for counseling sessions as well as monthly caregiver support groups. CFRI also offers “Mindfulness 2.0,” an online class which draws upon Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction techniques. These programs address the impact of chronic illness on emotional health. Participation in these programs helps improve health and quality of life. Counseling assistance is open to the CF community nationwide, and support groups are open to the CF community across the globe.

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Counseling Support to Nationwide CF Community

You can seek professional help

Children and adults with CF as well as their family members (parents, siblings, spouses/partners) are eligible to receive financial support for six individual therapy sessions per year with a licensed provider of their choice. CFRI will cover the cost of your insurance co-pay for six sessions, or pay up to $120 per session for six sessions if you have no insurance, or your provider does not accept insurance or is outside of your network. CFRI will pay the provider directly. Participants must live in the United States. You can select a licensed therapist in your community (for a referral, you can ask your CF social worker).

This program has limited funds and operates on a “first come first serve” basis. Due to high demand, the program often runs out of funding in the second half of the year. To ensure that your sessions are covered, please follow our program procedures as outlined below:

  • Check in with us: BEFORE sending us any invoices, contracts, or other documents, please contact Sabine Brants (sbrants@cfri.org, 650-665-7576) to check if there is funding available for your sessions. If we have funding available, we will send the required paperwork to you as well as your chosen provider. This paperwork needs to be completed BEFORE starting CFRI-supported sessions.
  • Wait for sessions to be approved: Once we receive the completed paperwork from you and the provider, we will let you know that you are approved to start your six CFRI-supported sessions. We will not accept invoices that are submitted without prior approval.
  • Submit assessments and invoices: By participating in the program, patients commit to take part in two brief evaluations at the beginning and end of the CFRI-supported sessions. Invoices need to be submitted to CFRI by the provider, we do not reimburse patients. Please notify us immediately if you discontinue therapy for whatever reason so the money can be released and used to support other people with CF and their families.

For more information on how to participate in CFRI’s Counseling Support Program, please email Sabine Brants (sbrants@cfri.org.)

This program is made possible to date through grants from Chiesi USA, Genentech, Viatris, Gilead Sciences, and private donors.

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Caregivers Support Groups: Third Tuesday of Every Month

CFRI provides a monthly CF Caregivers Support Group, which is open to participants across the globe. The groups are facilitated by a social worker well versed in issues facing CF caregivers. Participants are able to participate in person, as well as join from anywhere via telephone.

Two groups to choose from:

  • Parents of children with CF:
    5:00 pm – 6:00 pm PST
  • Parents/Spouses/Partners of Adults with CF:
    6:00 pm – 7:00 pm PST

To Participate via Zoom:

To participate, please send an email to CFRI to request the registration link. Please allow 3-4 hours before the meeting to register.

Facilitated by Meg Dvorak, LCSW, or Kate Yablonsky, LCSW, CF Social Workers at Stanford

Caregivers Support Groups are sponsored to date by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Chiesi USA, Genentech, Viatris, Gilead Sciences, and private donors.

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Online Support Group for Adults with CF: Third Monday of Every Month

CFRI provides a monthly Online Support Group for Adults with CF, which is open to participants across the globe. The group is facilitated by a social worker well versed in issues facing adults with CF.

The group meets on the third Monday of every month, from 6:00 pm PST to 7:30 pm (9:00 pm – 10:30 pm EST).

To participate, please send an email to CFRI to request the registration link. Please allow 3-4 hours before the meeting to register.

Facilitated by Meg Dvorak, LCSW, or Kate Yablonsky, LCSW, CF Social Workers at Stanford

Online Support Groups for Adults with CF are sponsored to date by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Chiesi USA, Genentech, Viatris, Gilead Sciences, and private donors.

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Online Support Group for Teens with CF: Third Wednesday of Every Month

This monthly group addresses the unique issues faced by teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 growing up with CF. The peer-to-peer support group will be facilitated by Teresa Priestley, MSW, and Deborah Menet, LCSW, social workers at the Stanford CF Center.

Parents must provide consent for their teenagers to attend.

For more information and to register, click here.

Support Groups are sponsored by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Chiesi USA, Genentech, Viatris, Gilead Sciences, and private donors.

 

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Navigating Grief to Growth – Bereavement Support Group: First and Third Tuesday of Every Month

Led by Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, LCSW, MPH

An online drop-in discussion and support group for those who have lost a loved one to CF, whether recently or in the past. Led by Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, LCSW, MPH, a grief counselor who lives with CF, the group provides a safe place to engage in focused practices to help experience growth in coping with the loss of a loved one. Adults and mature teens over age 16 are welcome.

The group meets the first and third Tuesday of every month at 5:00 pm PT (8:00 pm ET). See our events calendar for meeting dates.

To participate, please send an email to CFRI to request the registration link. You only need to register once to attend any of the meetings. Please allow 3-4 hours before the meeting to register.

Sponsored by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Chiesi USA, Genentech, Viatris, Gilead Sciences, and private donors.

 

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Post-Transplant Support Group: Fourth Wednesday of Every Month

Led by Sonya Haggett, LCSW

The group addresses the unique issues faced by those with CF who have received a double lung transplant and is facilitated by Sonya Haggett, LCSW, a social worker with CF who received a lung transplant.

Please note: this group is for adults post-transplant; caregivers are welcomed to our Caregiver Support Group.

To participate, please send an email to CFRI to request the registration link. You only need to register once to attend any of the meetings. Please allow 3-4 hours before the meeting to register.

Sponsored by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Chiesi USA, Genentech, Viatris, Gilead Sciences, and private donors.

 

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Support Group for the Spanish-Speaking CF Community: Second Wednesday of Every Month

Led by Marilyn Calderon, LICSW

The group meets on the second Wednesday of every month from 5:00 to 6:00 pm PT (8:00 to 9:00 pm ET), and addresses the unique issues faced by Hispanic/Latinx individuals and families affected by CF. The group is open to adults with CF as well as family members of adults and children with CF. The group meetings are held in Spanish and facilitated by Marilyn Calderon, LICSW. 

To register, click here. Please allow 3-4 hours before the meeting to register.

Sponsored by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Chiesi USA, Genentech, Viatris, Gilead Sciences, and private donors.

Grupo de apoyo en español: El segundo miércoles del mes

Guiado en español por Marilyn Calderon, LICSW

Grupo de apoyo virtual en español para adultos con fibrosis quística (FQ) y padres / personas que cuidan de otros con FQ. Reúnase con otras personas que entienden los desafíos causados por la FQ. El grupo de apoyo se reunirá el segundo miércoles del mes de 5:00 a 6:00 pm, hora del Pacífico (8:00 a 9:00 pm, hora del Este). El grupo será guiado en español por Marilyn Calderón, LICSW.

Para registrarse, haga clic aquí.

Patrocinado por Chiesi USA, Viatris, Genentech, Gilead Sciences, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, y donantes privados.

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Mindfulness 2.0

Stay tuned for upcoming classes

CFRI’s online class “Mindfulness 2.0,” taught by Julie Desch, MD, who herself has cystic fibrosis (CF), will share a new approach to bringing mindfulness into your daily life. It is based on Unified Mindfulness and has been adapted for the CF community. This new series is designed both for those who have taken her classes before and for those completely new to meditation.

Features

  • Class is 6 weeks long (6 sessions on Tuesdays from 4:15 pm to 5:30 pm PT)
  • Open to individuals with CF and their family members (spouses/partners, parents, siblings) from across the United States and beyond
  • Participants must be at least 16 years old
  • The class is online and interactive – participants can see each other, talk, and learn from each other

Topics covered

  • Class One: Introduction to Unified Mindfulness
  • Class Two: How to Relax and Recharge with Mindfulness
  • Class Three: Getting in the Zone & Going with the Flow
  • Class Four: Feeling Good and the Magic of Music
  • Class Five: Mindfulness in Daily Life
  • Class Six: Applying Mindfulness to Inner Opportunities and Obstacles

Stay tuned for upcoming class dates!  

Mindfulness 2.0 was sponsored in 2021 by Chiesi USA, Genentech, Ionis, Viatris, Translate Bio, Gilead Sciences, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and private donors.