The St. Lucia Arthritis & Lupus Association conducted a workshop from Monday 23rd to Friday 27th June 2014 at Villa Santa Maria, Coubaril.

This workshop was a “train the trainer” for Stanford University’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP). Ms. Diana Laurent, an author of this world-renowned program trained twenty five persons as leaders and four persons as Master trainers.

The leaders and master trainers are from all over St. Lucia and include lay persons, policemen, teachers, doctors, nurses and community health aides. These leaders will be conducting community workshops throughout St. Lucia.
“VIV BYEN” is the name for the CDSMP.

This program has been proven to empower people who choose to do it. It is not disease-specific. Participants are taught skills that help them cope with the challenges of life, with or without a chronic illness. It improves self-efficacy- the belief that one can change one’s behavior to achieve one’s goals.

The benefit to participants is immediate and has been shown to last up to four years after attending one program. In the United States the ratio of cost of the program to health cost reduction for the country was 1:4. This will be much greater in St. Lucia as the main cost is the fees to Stanford which SLALA has absorbed (close to EC$100000 since 2002 when their self-management program was introduced to St. Lucia).

People who do this program take less sick leave, have fewer hospitalizations and fewer days in hospital.

This is a program for everyone and businesses are encouraged to enroll their staff. Person can contact SLALA at 4867000 or at SLALA to join the next program in their area. Each program is 2 ½ hours a week for 6 weeks.

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