What is Tools for Better Health?
What is Tools for Better Health?
Tools for Better Health
Tools for Better Health is a highly interactive program where people of various chronic conditions come together to learn and practice new skills over a six week period to manage their chronic condition. The participants meet once a week for 2 ½ hours to discuss and problem solve a variety of topics relevant to coping with chronic conditions. The topics discussed include but are not limited to:
Learning how to become more physically active safely
Learning how to make healthy food choices
Learning how to communicate with family, friends and the health care team
Learning how to become an active member of the health care team
Learning how to deal with difficult emotions, frustration and anger
Learning how to set and achieve weekly action plans
Learning how to identify and solve problems caused by having a chronic condition
The discussion is facilitated by two trained leaders who guide the participants through four to six topics each week. Participants are encouraged to share their successes in dealing with a variety of topics so participants can learn from each other and build their confidence in dealing with their chronic condition. Participants do not learn the medical aspect a disease but rather how to manage the emotional, physical and social challenges of having a chronic condition. Family members and/or friends of participants are encouraged to attend the workshop in order to increase their understanding of the challenges associated with living with a chronic condition on a daily basis.
The workshops are appropriate and beneficial for anyone dealing with an ongoing chronic health condition, family members or caregivers. Workshop participants receive the “Living a Healthy Life with a Chronic Conditions” book that is a resource for additional information beyond the workshop topics. The primary conditions covered in the book include but are not limited to the following:
Upon completion of the workshop, participants have experienced one or more of the following results:
Reported increased physical activity
Showed improvement in cognitive symptom management
Improved communication with physicians
Reported improved general health
Reported decreased health distress
Reported decreased fatigue, disability and social/role activities
To read some of the successes participants have shared with their leaders and the Kansas Arthritis Program please go to the success stories link on the left side of this webpage.
To find a workshop in your area go to Tools for Better Health participants workshop schedule. If there is not a current workshop occurring in your area please go to the Resource Map to find what organization in your area provides the workshops. Call that organization and get on their waiting list to be notified of when the next workshop is being offered.
Who leads the Tools for Better Health workshops?
The workshops are lead by people like you, individuals with a chronic condition that have completed the workshop and are successful self-managers. They have learned and adopted the skills they were introduced to and are excited about sharing their knowledge and skills with others.
The workshops are offered and sponsored by organizations you are familiar with and trust. These organizations have a vested interest in improving the lives of individuals with chronic conditions. Workshop leaders are either staff members or clients with a chronic condition or a combination of the two.
Leaders are trained by individuals that have been trained by the workshop developers at Stanford University. Leader training is four days over the course of two weeks. The Kansas Arthritis Program underwrites the cost of participating in leader training by covering the registration fee and the travel expenses associated with the training.
Interested in being trained as a leader? Go to the Become a Leader Section for more information.