Department of Health to hold chronic disease self-management workshops (09/01/28)

NB 80

Jan. 28, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswickers living with chronic diseases are invited to participate in free workshops that will help them improve their quality of life.

Entitled My Choices - My Health!, the six, two-and-a-half-hour workshops teach people how to cope with daily challenges associated with chronic diseases such as AIDS, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, mental illness, and high blood pressure.

"I strongly encourage all New Brunswickers who live with chronic diseases to take part in these workshops," said Health Minister Michael Murphy. "Participants will be empowered with new self-management skills they can use to live more comfortably and confidently."

The workshops will be offered in French and English in community settings throughout the province, and led by trained volunteers who either have experienced or are familiar with chronic illnesses.

Workshop topics include:

The workshops are based on the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, which has been in use around the world for 25 years.

Research has consistently demonstrated that these workshops are successful in improving effectiveness, energy levels and general health; increasing the ability to manage distress and fatigue; and improving exercise and social activity tolerance among patients with long-term health conditions. Data have also shown that these workshops result in a decrease in the number of days spent in hospital, and a 30-40 per cent reduction in emergency room and physician visits.

"This initiative is the latest example of our government's ongoing work to improve primary health-care services through the promotion of healthy living," Murphy said. "We will continue enhancing the health-care system to ensure that it will be sustainable for New Brunswickers on our journey to self-sufficiency, and for generations to come."

For more information about the My Choices - My Health! initiative, or to register for a workshop, call 1-888-747-5511.

Promoting chronic disease self-management is one of the objectives of Transforming New Brunswick's Health-care System: the Provincial Health Plan, 2008-2012.


MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Cumby, communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3522.