(StatePoint) It’s important for everyone living with a lung disease like asthma to feel a sense of connection and belonging and to be understood. Beyond managing the physical challenges of the condition, coping with the mental and emotional aspects can be difficult. Finding a support system helps make living with a chronic lung disease a bit easier.
In honor of Asthma Awareness Month in May, the American Lung Association is showcasing the Better Breathers Network (BBN), a virtual, patient-focused environment that offers meaningful resources to improve the lives of the more than 31 million adults living with a chronic lung disease such as asthma. Here’s how the knowledge and connection of a support network can change your life.
1. Being able to speak freely with a trusted source can positively impact one’s health.
Members are encouraged to converse with other users and share their experiences. Social support can greatly reduce the stress associated with living with asthma – creating a space to share frustrations, fears and concerns. It is this type of engagement that allows individuals to thrive.
2. Support communities are offered on a flexible, online platform.
Online forums give members an opportunity to benefit from other patients’ experiences from the comfort of their homes, without having to make additional arrangements to meet in person.
3. Members receive management tools and additional education resources.
Members of BBN receive patient-focused newsletters, as well as access to the BBN Resource Library, which includes a welcome packet, lung disease tip sheets, handouts and on-demand educational videos, invitations to virtual BBN meetings and local activities, and information about the American Lung Association.
4. Support provided online is a useful sharing experience.
Members can gain new approaches to asthma management that they discover alongside other patients and caregivers. Within these groups, members can share tips and tricks for identifying and avoiding asthma triggers, experiences with medication, healthcare experiences and more.
5. We are all stronger together.
Regardless of how long you’ve had asthma, living with the chronic lung disease can be challenging. To face those challenges and improve your quality of life, it’s necessary to find and utilize resources that work for you. And some of these resources are just an online message away, including help from healthcare professionals, education and support groups.
The American Lung Association’s goal in creating BBN was to establish a patient-focused environment that shares meaningful educational programs and events, opportunities to connect with others and resources to better manage chronic lung disease. These tools are accessible by smartphone, tablet or computer. For more information or to sign up, visit Lung.org/bbn.
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