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21 November 2019
– The Lyme Support Program –
When Lyme gets too big, get help!

People with Lyme disease find themselves in isolating situations. 

Managing diagnoses, interpreting test results, examinations, medications and treatments creates a lot of stress. Balancing the huge and unexpected medical costs, eroding savings or losing family income adds to overwhelming feelings of helplessness for many people. 

Some people have little or no support, and coping can be especially difficult.  Some people experience medical discrimination, which further increases their feelings of isolation and burden. In some cases, entire families suffer from Lyme disease, making their situation extremely difficult to manage.

The Lyme support program

Recognising the urgent need to assist people in crisis, the Lyme Disease Association of Australia (LDAA) have designed a program to help. 

Lyme support offers a range of helpful resources to people in Australia with Lyme disease who are experiencing a crisis in their situation and who need professional support. The program provides for patient professional and independent advocacy services and crisis counselling as well as a community care support team.  

The counselling and advocacy professionals are briefed on the situation for Australian Lyme disease patients. They recognise the desperate need for better crisis support services and are astounded by the situation patients face in the health care system. 

Our  community carers are all volunteers who have a lived experience of Lyme disease and a comprehensive understanding of the unique challenges patients face. Our community carers have been formally trained to assist people seeking support under this program.  

What might we learn?

The program is designed as a pilot. It will run from November 2019 until June 2020.  Results of the Program will inform the feasibility and potential scalability of dedicated support services for people in Australia with Lyme disease. 

We’ll be collecting information from participants to help improve the services offered and to better understand what Australian Lyme patients need most

You can keep track of how we are doing under this program by following our Dashboard. We’ll report on how many people we have supported, how long we have spent supporting them and the overall cost of that support. 

Do you need help?

 If YOU need help, please let us know and we’ll help you find  the best source of support for your individual situation.

Would you like to help?

We’ll be running an Accidental Counsellor and Suicide Awareness training program shortly.  If you have a lived experience of Lyme disease as a patient or carer, are already providing support to others as part of a patient support group or organisations, and want to learn some strategies to help, enrol now.

'It takes a village' :-)

Yours in Green, 

Sharon Whiteman | CEO
Lyme Disease Association of Australia
Disclaimer: Any content within this newsletter is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor as an endorsement from the Lyme Disease Association of Australia (LDAA).

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