Meeting Report – Saturday 17th April 2021  on ZOOM

Keeping on the level: Living well with long-term

health conditions.

Keeping on the level: Living well with long-term health conditions.

Links to watch the full meeting video are at the bottom of this page

Introduction Where we clarified some guiding principles of the group and our meetings.  Confidentiality –  As a support group, we encourage all to speak openly about what issues that they face, but as such we ask everyone to respect everyone’s privacy and keep confidential any specific personal matters that are supplied during our meetings We are not doctors   – We are not medically trained or qualified, so we will never seek to advise on treatments or medical matters. Whatever advice or personal experiences are shared, everyone should always consult with their own medical and healthcare experts for the best medical care and advice. We are not a charity  – We are not a registered charity, we handle no money, we have no money. We are just people helping people.  Where we require money to fund leaflets or posters, we approach local companies for them to buy on our behalf. Positive Only  – We are a support group, with the emphasis being upon support, so we encourage everyone to seek the positive in what we discuss, in our members situations and our overall attitude to our mutual challenges. Let us always try to find solutions rather than be dragged down by the problems, and let us always give encouragement and hope to each other. Tolerance & Friendship  – The group is for everyone, and we can all seek different things from belonging to this group, but at the very least I hope we will all find some degree of friendship and comfort from meeting and knowing our fellow members.  Let us all be tolerant of differences and respect that balance disorders come in many flavours and affect any person in any walk of life and at any age – so we of all groups, should acknowledge and celebrate the variety and differences in our members. Charity Support  – The group is supported by the Menieres Society and VeDA as an official support group listed by both of their web sites. We support both charities in their good work for all things related to balance issues. 

Our Expert Guest Speaker  is –  Dr Lynnette Simpson

Keeping on the level: Living well with long-term health conditions.

This presentation focused on the biopsychosocial model of living with a long-term health condition and in particular the importance of your psychological wellbeing and the notion of “acceptance”. What does acceptance mean? Is acceptance the right word? How do you achieve acceptance or rather how do you live well with a long-term health condition that has affected your whole life, your roles, your identity, what makes you ‘you’? I will introduce you to some ideas of how to look after your emotional wellbeing while trying to manage all the physical changes to your health.

Life On The level says  – This presentation is essential viewing for anyone who is living with a long term balance condition. There is growing evidence that for the majority of sufferers our psychological and emotional well being can become as big a problem and challenge as our physical balance symptoms. Lets learn how to manage these more effectively for a better quality of life

More About Dr Lynnette Simpson – 

Dr Lynnette Simpson BA(Hons); DClinPsy. I have been a qualified Clinical Psychologist since 2009 and have worked in the area of physical health since 2011 within the Department of Medical Psychology based at the Leicester General Hospital. I am the Lead Psychologist for Pain Management within the department, but I also work with patients with other long-term health conditions, including balance conditions, who are referred to us.

Important News for Balance Disorder Sufferers

Lynnettes presentation confirmed that the NHS health psychology treatments provided by her department are available to all chronic illness patients – including serious balance disorders! This effectively means on a local scale, that any patient in the Leicestershire NHS catchment area can ask to be referred to the Leicester Health Psychology department if they suspect that they would benefit from their help and treatment. Please do watch the presentation to learn more about the referral process (for example if cannot be from your GP!) or download Lynnettes presentation slides on the link below. It would appear this available service to all balance disorder patients is not well known by either clinicians or patients, so we hope at Life On The level, to help change this to ensure any balance sufferer who is facing significant life challenges is aware of this treatment option and is then able to access this help for free.

On a national level we will be working to discover which other NHS trusts and authorities offer the same health psychology treatments, so again we can ensure that our UK national members can be made aware of this help. Onn an international level we will also be investigating if similar health care is available that is targeted specifically for chronic illness sufferers such as Balance conditions. Given the high correlation between balance disorders and many mental health challenges – we believe this is a very important area for our members and the wider balance community.

Watch the full meeting now on Face Book or Zoom

Click to watch on YouTube

Click here to watch on Facebook

Download Lynnettes slide presentation on the link below

Lynnnette’s links to other helpful sites and content

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/ACE.pdf •Nourishing and depleting activities: •https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/NourishingDepleting.pdf •Poisoned parrot: •https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/TheParrot.pdf •Emergency self soothe box: •https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/EmergencyBagBox.pdf •Learning to live in the here and now:

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/APPLE.pdf •Helpful when goal setting- follow SMART principles: 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/SMARTgoals.pdfwww.getselfhelp.co.uk – lots of resources for mental health Williams, M. & Penman, D. (2011). Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world. 

www.franticworld.com •Calm app- some content for free •Headspace app- some content for free •www.nhs.co.uk/livewellwww.mind.org.ukhttps://web.ntw.nhs.uk/selfhelp/ – range of self help leaflets •www.compassionatemind.co.uk – introduction to compassion focused therapy •https://www.psychologytools.com/ – self-help resources for mental health •www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk

End of Meeting Notes 

Please come and join us if you feel we can help and don’t wish to face your challenges alone.  You are very very welcome. 

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