Workshop Leaders are dedicated community volunteers who empower people to better manage their chronic conditions and to live a healthy life. Leaders typically have first-hand experience with a chronic condition themselves. They apply and model self-management skills in their own lives.

Leaders may be lay people or health care professionals. Regardless, they act as peers when leading the workshop, not as health experts. Two Volunteer Peer Leaders always work together to deliver the workshops.Why Become a Volunteer Peer Leader

The North West Self-Management Program offers three types of “Healthy Change” workshops:

  • Chronic Conditions “Healthy Change” Workshop
  • Diabetes “Healthy Change” Workshop
  • Chronic Pain “Healthy Change” Workshop
  • Cancer Thriving and Surviving 

In the Chronic Conditions “Healthy Change” Workshop you will cover these topics over six sessions:

Session 1 Differences between acute and chronic conditions Using the mind for symptom management Making Action Plans Session 2 Difficult emotions Intro to physical activity
Session 3 Better Breathing Muscle Relaxation Pain and Fatigue Management Endurance Exercise Session 4 Healthy Eating Future Plans for Health Care Communication Problem Solving
Session 5 Medications Making Treatment Decisions Depression Management Positive Thinking Guided Imagery Session 6 Working with your health care professional Working with the health care system Looking back and planning for the future

Introducing: Diabetes Self-Management Program
Healthy Change with Diabetes

The Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) is a workshop for people with type 2 diabetes. It teaches the skills needed for day-to-day management of diabetes, and related symptoms, so individuals can better “Live a Healthy Life” with diabetes and other chronic health conditions.

This new program from Stanford (2008) is based on the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, but includes additional topics specific to Diabetes management. Research studies have indicated that participants completing this workshop have been successful in lowering their A1C levels as well as decreasing their diabetes-related symptoms.

* The diabetes self-management workshop is still focused on self-management skills and meant to supplement existing diabetes education pieces.

In the Diabetes “Healthy Change” Workshop you will cover these topics over six sessions:

Session 1 Self-managing diabetes Making an action plan (all sessions) Monitoring (all sessions) Nutrition/healthy eating Session 2 Feedback/problem solving Preventing low blood sugar
Session 3 Preventing complications Fitness exercise Stress management Relaxation techniques Session 4 Difficult emotions Monitoring blood sugar
Session 5 Depression Positive Thinking Communication Medications Session 6 Working with your health care professional Working with the health care system Sick days Skin and foot care Future plans

In the Chronic Pain “Healthy Change” Workshop you will cover these topics over six sessions:

Session 1 Introduction to Self-Management Debunking myths around pain What is chronic pain Making Action Plans Session 2 Learning problem-solving skills Fitness and exercise Pacing activities and rest Better Breathing and Progressive Muscle Relaxation Using your mind to manage symptoms
Session 3 Difficult emotions Managing fatigue and sleep Fitness and exercise Introduction to the Moving Easy Program Session 4 Fitness and exercise Communication skills Healthy eating Moving Easy Program
Session 5 Using your mind to manage symptoms Medications Depression Management Moving Easy Program Session 6 Communication around pain Making treatment decisions Working effectively with your health care team Future plans Moving Easy Program

In the Cancer Thriving and Surviving “Healthy Change” Workshop you will cover these topics over six sessions:

Session 1 The Mind-Body Connection Fatigue Management and Getting Help Making Action Plans Session 2 Feedback and Problem-Solving Dealing with Difficult Emotions Getting a Good Night’s Sleep Regaining Fitness During and After Cancer Treatment
Session 3 Managing Pain Living with Uncertainty Making Decisions Future Plans for Health Care Session 4 Cancer and Changes to Your Body Healthy Eating Communication Skills Problem-Solving
Session 5 Endurance Exercise Making Decisions about Treatment and Complementary Therapies Weight Management Dealing with Depression Positive Thinking Session 6 Cancer and Relationships Guided Imagery Working with Your Health Care Professional and Health Care Organization Looking Back and Planning for the Future

Leaders may be lay people or health care professionals. Regardless, they act as peers when leading the workshop, not as health experts. Two Volunteer Peer Leaders always work together to deliver the workshops.Why Become a Volunteer Peer Leader