Iris Mini: What is Iris Mental Health?

About Iris Mental Health

Emotional, biological, psychological, and social factors, also known as mental health, are deeply connected with a person’s overall health. Mental health affects how we think, feel, and act and can be impacted based on life experiences, such as a cancer diagnosis. The emotional "side effects" of cancer can be as difficult as the physical side effects. Your emotional health matters - Iris is here to help.  

Iris is a supportive care service that provides cancer-specific mental health support in addition to the care you receive with your oncology care team. Iris mental health therapists (MHTs) are licensed clinicians (social workers and psychologists) with specialized training in helping individuals and families cope with the emotional and mental health aspects of cancer. They offer personalized resources and support to build skills for emotional awareness, coping, and resilience. 

How We Can Help

Iris mental health therapists can help individuals process and cope with emotions, adjust to illness, build resilience, and access effective treatments to address the emotional impact of cancer. Strong emotional reactions are normal, and it can be helpful to explore these feelings with a professional with training in cancer. Building on each person’s existing strengths, virtual sessions offer coping skills in areas such as managing vulnerability, uncertainty, control, anger, anxiety, grief, and other feelings that can arise related to cancer. Skills can include how to cope with anxiety or body-related changes, how to share information about your cancer with others and navigate relationship changes, or how to manage work or medical leave.  

How Our Visits Work

The first mental health therapy visit starts with an introduction of the Iris Mental Health Care model reviewing what to expect. This includes creating a plan together for addressing your cancer-related needs and routinely exploring and measuring progress of your goals.  

Care is delivered using a virtual platform and sessions are 30-45 minutes in length. Strict confidentiality is maintained and your information is not shared outside of the Iris team. The number of sessions is determined by your specific cancer-related need, generally between 1 and 8 sessions (also called an episode of care). Individuals can access Iris at various points throughout their experience with cancer for different specific cancer-related support needs. Iris is provided as a benefit through your insurance with no additional cost to you. 

Connecting with an Iris Mental Health Therapist

Asking for support is a sign of strength - we’re here to help. You can schedule time with an Iris mental health therapist on the home screen of the Iris app. We look forward to meeting you.