Autoimmune Aware is a dynamic support group initiative focused on creating an inclusive space for the autoimmune disease and chronic illness community to thrive, with gatherings to share, learn, and connect.
Our pilot program started and is continuing to grow in San Diego, California. We are currently creating a support group guide, which will empower others to build their own local Autoimmune Aware groups all over the nation and worldwide.
Monthly (now virtual!) meetings touch upon all aspects of life with chronic illness – symptom management, diagnosis, stress, social life and relationships, physical movement, nutrition – and include:
- guest speaker or group discussion topic
- time for connecting with others
- healthy bites (once in-person meetings resume)
There will also be casual, social outings on weekends (once public health officials deem it safe to do so). Farmer’s markets, picnics, walks – anything that would be fun to do together as a group. It’s equally important to explore who we are outside the realm of health, since our lives can easily become consumed by it.
Our aim is to help each other live well and feel heard, while not letting disease define us. We encourage members to come as they are, with an open mind and the willingness to nurture a positive atmosphere.
This group is community-focused, sprouting from the belief that when we co-create, we thrive. Members are welcome to give suggestions and take leadership roles if desired. This kind of engagement helps tailor the group to the needs of each unique community.
Visit the Autoimmune Aware San Diego Facebook page for information on local meetings.