As part of the Ontario Diabetes Strategy, the Ministry of Health has recently funded the Self-Management Initiative, an integrated, comprehensive strategy aimed at preventing and improving management of chronic conditions in Ontario.
People who have participated in the “Living a Healthy Life” workshop became more active and reported better health, less fatigue, and better communication with their doctors. They even spent less time in the hospital compared to those who did not take the workshop! The program was developed by Stanford University and is widely considered a best practice in chronic disease prevention and management, and has been adopted in many parts of Canada and around the world.
What is Self-Management?
Self-management means being able to manage the daily tasks to live well with one or more chronic conditions. It means having the skills and confidence to take charge of your medical needs, your everyday roles and responsibilities, and your emotions. You are able to live a healthy live with your chronic health condition.
The "Living a Healthy Life" workshop develops self-management skills among people in a small group setting. You will learn a process for setting goals each week and solving some of the problems you experience.
The workshop allows you to "tailor" the program to your own needs. Participants take an active role in learning self-management, try new ideas, listen to others and share their progress with the group.
Workshop groups meet once a week for 2 ½ hours over six weeks and are led by two group facilitators who have taken special training. The leaders are volunteers or health care professionals, many of whom have chronic conditions themselves.
You will also learn new tools and strategies to break the "cycle of symptoms" such as fatigue, pain, depression, stress and anxiety that can result from a having chronic conditions. Some of these tools include:
- physical activity
- healthy eating
- managing pain and fatigue
- managing stress
- understanding emotions
- communication skills
- working effectively with health care professionals
Healthy Living Now has been funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, Ontario Diabetes Strategy and serves the Central region.