Submitted by Barb McKown

Help Yourself is a self-management program developed by Stanford University that will teach people how to deal with the symptoms and frustrations of living with a chronic condition. Classes are 2 ½ hours and are held once a week for 6 weeks.

The classes are facilitated from a highly-detailed manual by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are peers with a chronic health condition themselves.

Topics Covered Include - techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation; appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance; appropriate use of medications; communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals; nutrition; and, making informed treatment decisions.

The process in which Help Yourself classes are taught is what makes them effective. Sessions are highly participative, where mutual support and success builds the participants' confidence in managing their health and maintaining active and fulfilling lives.

Help Yourself will not conflict with existing programs or treatment. It is designed to enhance regular treatment and disease-specific education. Many people also have more than one chronic condition. The program is especially helpful for these people, as it gives them the skills to coordinate all the things that are needed to manage their health, as well as to help them keep active in their lives.

For More Information Contact:

Sandra Ellis or Nina Smith
The Chronic Disease Management Team
Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center
186 Hospital Drive
Grantsville, WV 26147
(304) 354-9244

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