Join WEGO Health, Mike Veny and myself for the monthly #WEGOHealthChat, which this month focuses on combating the stigma of chronic illness. The tweet chat will take place on Tuesday 13 March 2018 at 5 pm GMT/UK time (1 pm EDT).

WEGO Health Chat March 13th

#WEGOHealthChat is a Twitter meet up of the WEGO Health Patient Leader Network minds, among other guests (anyone is welcome!) to discuss topics ranging from advocacy goals to becoming a paid consultant to challenges in building communities and everything in between. Today’s chat is on combatting the stigma of chronic illness.

I have no doubt that every individual living with a chronic or long-term illness has experienced stigma at some point in their lives – and sadly, can anticipate stigma for a whole host of different reasons. I was recently struck by a powerful blog published in January 2018 on The Mighty by blogger Mairyn McGraw. Titled ‘Why we need to look past the labels of our illnesses‘, Mairyn shared some powerful experiences, but the below paragraph really stood out to me:

My labels do affect me. I can’t ignore that I have them. However, my labels do not determine my worth. I am so much more than my labels, and so is everyone else. Illnesses do not define us. We have to live with them and cope with them, but they don’t define us.”

This frames today’s tweet chat extremely well, since we’ll be looking at examples of stigma from the chronic illness community, and how individuals react in those situations. We’ll also explore some of the underlying reasons as to where stigma may come from, ways to combat the stigmas associated with chronic illness, whose responsibility it is to break down stigmas, and how we can work together across condition areas to combat chronic illness stigma.

How to join the tweet chat

Joining in the tweet chat is so easy! If you’ve not done one before – don’t worry. WEGO Health have produced some guidance to help you get started!

Simply head over to Twitter (or one of the other platforms, such as Tweetdeck, TweetChat, Hootsuite,Twubs or for 5 pm GMT/UK time (1 pm EDT), search for the hashtag #WEGOHealthChat and get ready to type away for the hour! Don’t forget to include #WEGOHealthChat on all of your tweets, so everyone participating can see what you say.

See you all later!


Written by simonrstones

Simon Stones, BSc (Hons), AMRSB, is a Biomedical Sciences graduate and a doctoral researcher in child and family health. He is a passionate activist and ambassador for young people living with invisible illnesses, inspired and empowered by his own journey with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel disease.

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