Breathe and Believe – a Column by Kate Delany

Mental Healthcare Is Important for Everyone

I recently got together with a group of friends, and in the middle of our conversation, one confided that she was excited to start therapy soon. Everyone joined in the excitement and congratulated her. Those also in counseling, which turned out to be most of the group, discussed their thoughts…

The Memory of a Therapy Dog Calls to Mind the Comfort of Pets

In the dark days of my sister’s cystic fibrosis-induced respiratory failure and subsequent double-lung transplant, a single moment stands out as a flash of light, and even humor. I was sitting at my sister’s bedside, next to my brother-in-law. We both had our heads bowed, alternating between silence and talking…

How to Ask for and Offer Help

A childhood friend whose husband is undergoing treatment for terminal cancer recently posted something on social media that struck me as smart. She thanked people for their concern, but then noted which kinds of offers of help were helpful, and which weren’t. I’ve both received and extended offers…

Little Books That Communicate Big Ideas About Health

When I was a kid, at the start of every school year my mother would pay a visit to my younger sister Mary’s new teacher to share information about Mary’s cystic fibrosis. One of the items she would share was a “Super Cystic and Fabulous Fran Fibrosis” book. These…

What We Talk About When We Talk About COVID-19

In his short story titled, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” writer Raymond Carver dramatizes an evening in which a small group of friends sits around a dining room table drinking and reminiscing. They share stories that are both intense and rambling. The friends discover that…

How COVID-19 Has Changed the Rules for Hospital Visits

My sister Mary was just in the hospital for the first time in nine months. Though she was an inpatient over the holidays last winter, as so many cystic fibrosis patients often are, we couldn’t visit her because of the pandemic, which made the experience even more difficult. Nine months…


Featured Column

How to Ask for and Offer Help

A banner for Kate Delany's "Breathe and Believe" column that depicts a pair of lungs with flowers blossoming from them.
In times of need, we may not know how to ask for help or offer it to others. Columnist Kate Delany shares helpful tips on how to do it.

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