AMHERST, Mass. – People in western Massachusetts living with chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, depression or heart disease who wish to learn practical techniques to lead happier, more comfortable and productive lives are invited to take part in a series of workshops beginning on July 25 in Greenfield. Participants must attend four day-long training sessions and agree to lead at least one workshop series within a year to receive certification.
The Western Massachusetts Public Health Training Center is offering the workshop series, “My Life, My Health: The Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program,” which would normally cost $500 per person, free of charge through a training grant to the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences.
Four sessions will meet on Wednesday and Thursday, July 25 and 26 and Aug. 1 and 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hampton Inn and Suites, 184 Shelburne Road in Greenfield. Space is limited and registration is requested by July 17 by contacting trainer Dawn Heffernan at (413) 545-6142 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Heffernan explains that leadership workshop participants will use the highly acclaimed, evidence-based curriculum developed at Stanford University to learn about goal-setting and developing weekly personal action plans, plus many other skills, to help them take control of their health and improve their quality of life. “My Life, My Health” is now used widely throughout the world. These leadership training workshops provide manuals, materials and lunch.
Heffernan says, “Workshops are highly interactive, provide mutual support, build confidence and teach participants to manage their health challenges and remain active.” Topics include pain and fatigue management, physical activity and exercise, muscle relaxation and guided imagery, healthy eating, dealing with difficult emotions, communication skills, medication management and making informed treatment decisions.
In addition to the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, other sponsors include the Western Mass. Healthy Aging Coalition, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, BMC Health Net Plan, Highland Valley Elder Services, Elder Services of the Merrimac Valley, Inc. and Franklin County Home Care Corporation.