Learn to manage the conditions

Self-management program can help people with chronic conditions

Lily Dawn Robertson is co-leading an arthritis/fibromylgia self-management course in Parksville next month.

Lily Dawn Robertson is co-leading an arthritis/fibromylgia self-management course in Parksville next month.

Lily Dawn Robertson was so pleasantly surprised by the University of Victoria’s health self-management program that she took the training to become a facilitator.

Robertson will co-lead an arthritis/fibromylgia course in Parksville in January as part of the popular self-management program.

She said it’s a bit ironic it took this long to start here since it was the first one developed by Stanford University, which is what the UVic program is based on.

While there have been other chronic pain and disease self management courses here for a couple years, this is the first time for the arthritis/fibromylgia course in Oceanside.

“It’s not about being a victim, we help people see they are so much more than their condition.

“People often look at themselves as their chronic condition, but they learn it’s just a small part of them.”

She said the course is not a support group, which already exists, but will give people a global context and concrete skills to help deal with their situation.

“The self management programs help people with chronic conditions learn to live well in spite of their challenges,” said long-time chronic disease self management facilitator Lisa Leger.

“We observe that patients who participate in these programs are more confident and optimistic and they complete the six week program realizing that there is a lot they can be doing to make life with their condition more manageable and enjoyable.”

Along with the passionate facilitators and camaraderie, participants receive the valuable The Arthritis Helpbook.

The 16 spots are filling up fast, so people should sign up for the free event soon, but Robertson points out there’s already a second one scheduled for February 13.

The volunteer run course runs six Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. starting Jan. 25 at the Parksville Pharmasave.

For more information on the program check www.selfmanagementbc.ca, to register call 1-866-902-3767 or e-mail selfmanagement@eastlink.ca.





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