Guest blogger: Amanda Cahill, Montana Government Relations Director
The internet has enabled us to quickly become “experts” about most any topic. When it comes to health, most people will “google” symptoms at the first onset. However, this poses a dilemma when it comes to reading information about complex diagnoses like heart disease and stroke. Too often, we will find people recounting their tales and offering inappropriate advice that does more to scare us than help. This is where the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association Support Network comes in.
The Support Network is a new initiative to provide emotional and practical support to people living with heart disease and stroke. There is something for everyone and different forums dedicated to Stroke, Pediatric Stroke, Rehab and Recovery, Chronic Heart Conditions, Congenital Heart Defects, and even a section for Caregivers.
The Support Network offers an online community, as well as materials for starting face-to-face community-based support groups. The monitored online community is a place for people to ask questions, share concerns or fears, provide helpful tips and find encouragement and inspiration.
Research shows that helping people heal emotionally after a heart attack or stroke can also help them heal physically.
A study just released in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that a general lack of social support is associated with poor health and quality of life and depression in young men and women a year after having a heart attack. If you are a survivor or a caregiver know that you are not alone. If you need advice or just want to talk to others that are going through the same thing as you click here and connect.