Emerge Australia focuses its energy on the following areas to ensure the greatest impact with the resources we have to hand:
Social isolation is an awful fact for so many people trying to manage a chronic illness. Peer support can help people with ME/CFS and related conditions to:
- Realise they’re not alone
- Make friends and socialise
- Be amongst people who just “get it”
- Gain support by sharing experiences and feelings with others in a similar situation
- Talk about fears and concerns
- Share information and resources
- Rebuild self-esteem and sense of identity
- Learn practical ways to better manage their condition
- Learn about community and health services and how to use them
- Have fun
We share our excitement about the little things that healthy people take for granted, for example, the sense of achievement in walking a full lap around the lake. (Bendigo Peer Support Group members)
Very few people who have or have to care for someone who has ME/CFS know what it entails at first. Education is key to understanding how to live or work with a chronic illness. We create Fact Sheets for many different situations, conduct seminars and professional development sessions for GP’s and other health practitioners as well as educators in the school system and carers. We are currently developing training sessions for other service providers such as help-lines, community groups and carers.
We focus on achieving equity in health, and providing free, easy to access information is the best way that people can take control of those things that determine their health so that they can achieve their fullest health potential.
Our online resources provide a central point for all information about ME/CFS – research, facts, management of the condition, resources for carers and educators and places for people affected to find help. We have 7,000 unique visitors each month and this is growing. Information is freely available to anyone who needs it.
Members are integral to our advocacy work – the more voices we represent, the more impact we have when advocating for improved recognition, research and services. And the more members involved in the organisation, the more we can be sure to continue to represent the broad range of people who are affected by ME/CFS and associated conditions.
A members information service ensures that people who are affected by ME/CFS have information as and when they need it. And our quarterly members journal Emerge (established in 1980) is a great source of information and comfort for people who in particular are unable to access the internet and are often housebound or bedbound.