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  • Helping You Help Others: Support Group Partnership Program
    Added by My Identity Doctor

    Last March at Stanford Medicine X ED, my friend Sara and I presented on the role of social support in chronic disease management. Social support is extremely important in living with a chronic disease, and not only do you have people who “get you”, they can also often offer little life hacks for living with a diagnosis that you might not have thought of otherwise! Sara spoke from the perspective of being a mom to two kids with type 1 diabetes, and I spoke from my experience as someone with asthma.

    Circle of cartoon person silhouettes in a rainbow of colours, holding hands

    What Type of Support Groups are You Aware Of?

    Long gone are the days where “support group” looks like a circle of chairs in a church basement (a la “The Fault In Our Stars”). Sure, there are still some support groups that met in person on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis, but many patients now find support online through Twitter hashtags, patient networking sites, and Facebook groups. For kids with chronic and/or life altering diseases like cancer, diabetes, or asthma, there are camps that take care of these campers medical needs, and allow them to just be kids alongside others who understand their worlds—for many, these camps can be life changing!

    All the time, new models of support groups are emerging all the time. Last spring I participated as a peer mentor for children with asthma leading sessions in the “Asthma Pals” program run by Asthma Canada. If you think getting 6-10 kids on a conference call each week is a disaster… it shockingly is not! I greatly enjoyed mentoring these kids, and often thought of how great it could be if adults had something similar—a small group of people like them! I found Asthma Pals was a great “hybrid” of the connection you feel with people in person, but the ability to connect with people across the entire country! The kids were really excited they had friends across Canada!

    No matter what kind of support you are looking for, there is likely something that fits your needs—regular, formal interaction, or sporadic interaction like on a Twitter hashtag where you can reach out when you need it, and fade back when you don’t.

    How we want to help support groups

    Do you run a support group or self help group? January is Self Help Group Awareness Month, and we want to remind support group leaders that we want to support their groups! We can offer bulk discounts on medical ID bracelets for pre-engraved bracelets or or necklaces for diabetes camps or asthma camps (or any other camps where campers need them!), for your support group members, or set up a partnership code where your members get a discount and we also send a bit of money from each purchase to go back towards running your support group!

    Partner with us!

    If you are interested in partnering with us, e-mail us and we’d be happy to work something out! We want everyone to be able to wear medical ID jewelry to stay safe all the time (which is why all of our bracelets are stainless steel and waterproof!), and sometimes, it takes a good role model like a support group leader to make that happen—thank you for investing in your community!

    Published by My Identity Doctor on January 16, 2018


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