Being diagnosed with a muscle-wasting condition often means adjusting to a new and unexpected reality. We know that living with a muscle-wasting condition can have an impact on every part of your life, including your mental health and wellbeing.
We have heard from many people who say they feel isolated because of their condition, and that they have experienced heightened feelings of anxiety and depression as they adjust to their diagnosis. Some have said they struggle to relate to other people within the muscle wasting community because their experiences are different. The impact also goes beyond those living with a muscle wasting condition to families and carers, who can also be affected.
Helping you to take care of your mental health
Mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It affects our thoughts and feelings, and how we act and behave. It also affects how we respond to stress, how we interact with others and the choices we make.
It’s important that everyone can access support for their mental health when needed. That’s why we’re committed to improving access to mental health support for people living with muscle wasting and weakening conditions. From the point of diagnosis and at every stage after.
As part of our Mental Health Matters campaign, we continue to press for change and take forward the recommendations from the APPG for muscular dystrophy and our Shining a Light report. Calling for improved access to mental health services, provided by professionals who understand muscle-wasting conditions.
Our tailored support groups
Working in partnership with Louise Halling, a professional counsellor and psychotherapist, who lives with limb girdle muscular dystrophy, we have designed our virtual therapeutic support groups. Through her lived and professional experience, Louise has a unique perspective on the ways that muscular dystrophy can affect the emotional health of an individual, and their close family members.
Starting in October, the programme will bring together small groups over six consecutive weeks, to meet for an hour each week, supported by Louise as the group facilitator.
How it works
The groups are run in a similar style to a ‘facilitated peer support group’, essentially a safe and supported counselling and therapy setting. This provides a confidential, trusted, honest, protected space, which encourages open, emotional, and psychological discussion, while also allowing you to build a significant connection with one another.
There will be three groups available:
- Group 1: People living with muscle wasting or weakening conditions and perimenopause and menopause - This group's registration process is currently closed. The waiting list has reached its capacity. We will reopen applications if places become available again.
- Group 2: Men with muscle wasting or weakening conditions who are aged between mid 40's and mid 60's.
- Group 3: People living with muscle wasting or weakening conditions aged 25-35.
How to get involved
Register your interest. And then, we’ll arrange an online assessment with Louise to talk about your needs and whether you will be suitable for the group.
Please note, places are limited and you may be added to a waiting list until a place become available.