Online health and disability communities
Online forums and communities are often a vital part of helping us feel connected, better informed and less alone. Millions of people count on them for open, honest and unbiased opinions. Studies have shown the content shared amongst members to be accurate and truthful. Having a disability or a serious health concern can be extremely isolating and these communities help to combat those feelings. We have put together a list of just some of the online forums which you might find helpful.
Scope is a disability equality charity in England and Wales. There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK and 8 % of children are disabled. Scope is there for them to provide information and emotional support whilst championing their rights in a fairer society.
Shift.ms is a community that encourages its members to talk openly and honestly about living with MS. There are over 2.5 million people living with MS around the world. With over 18,000 members worldwide, the forum has discussion threads on every conceivable topic. They have informative videos, useful guides, an army of volunteers and a community who help each other in good times and bad.
National Autistic Society
The National Autistic Society is a friendly and supportive environment to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions. They welcome the 700,000 autistic people in the UK, and their wider network. Find expert advice, vital service information and a society that works hard to promote equal opportunities for autistic people.
Cancer Research UK
1 in 3 people will now be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Everyone knows someone who is living with cancer, and thanks to the amazing work of Cancer Research UK, survival rates are rising. They have case studies on the success stories, discussion threads on symptoms and treatments, and information on volunteer opportunities.
Parkinson’s UK Forum
Whether newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a carer, or living with the condition for some time, the Parkinson's UK Forum is a place to chat. It helps visitors to understand what living with Parkinson's is really like for the 145,000 people in the UK, diagnosed with the condition. They encourage everyone to stop by for a virtual cuppa and receive the support of it's members.
Since 2000, the Choice Forum has been a great place to discuss the issues affecting the lives of those with a learning Disability. Members include people with learning disabilities, parents, friends, relatives, people working in the field, national and local policy makers, service providers and commissioners.
Sane is a UK-wide charity working to improve quality of life for people affected by mental illness. They offer emotional support and information to anyone impacted by mental illness through a support line, textcare and a support forum. 25,000 people have already become members of their online community and every contribution is valued. If you suffer from a mental illness or know someone who does, Sane has highly trained volunteers who can help and a supportive compassionate forum.
CareBIG has carers experienced with many of the conditions discussed in this blog. Learn more here.