May is Arthritis Awareness Month

Arthritis Awareness Toolkit

The Virginia Department of Health's Arthritis Awareness Program is pleased to share the CDC Arthritis Program's communications package for May, which includes a web feature, podcast, and social media messages. These resources address the connection between arthritis and mental health by providing opportunities to learn more about arthritis burden, physical activity, depression, and anxiety.

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Week 1 - Mental Health Awareness with Arthritis:

  1. May is Arthritis Awareness Month and Mental Health Awareness Month.  In Virginia, nearly 40% of people with arthritis reported mental health concerns in the past 30 days.  Treating arthritis and mental health is important to living your best life.  Learn more: The Arthritis-Mental Health Connection | CDC.
  2. Symptoms of anxiety and depression are common among adults with arthritis and can interfere with a person’s ability to manage their health.  If you or someone you know has arthritis and is feeling down or worried, learn about programs that can improve mood and well-being, and ease arthritis symptoms.  Learn more: The Arthritis-Mental Health Connection | CDC.
  3. Healthy aging matters.  Dr. Louise Murphy, Senior Epidemiologist, and Dr. Jeffrey Nemhauser recently sat down for a podcast to discuss the connection between arthritis and mental health.  The difference between depression and anxiety and how adults with arthritis can manage their symptoms is discussed.  Watch the podcast to learn more: Public Health Media Library (cdc.gov).

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Week 2 - Arthritis and Exercise - Walk with Ease Program

  1. Stay active!  Studies show that physical activity can reduce pain and improve function, mood, and quality of life for adults with arthritis.  It also helps with the management of other conditions.  Find physical activity programs that work for you: Arthritis-Appropriate Physical Activity Programs | CDC
  2. The Walk with Ease program is a self-directed walking program developed by the Arthritis Foundation.  It is a 6-week program that can be done individually.  Learn more about the WwE program: Arthritis-Appropriate Physical Activity Programs | CDC.
  3. Many lifestyle management programs are available to help treat and manage arthritis and related conditions.  @CDC reviews interventions to ensure they are effective in treating and managing arthritis and their readiness for implementation.  https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/interventions/physical-activity.html

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Week 3 - Arthritis and Exercise

  1. The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is a workshop for adults with at least one health condition, which includes arthritis.  It focuses on disease management skills including decision making, problem-solving, and action planning.  Learn more: https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/interventions/programs/cdsmp.htm.
  2. Get connected to evidence-based programs to treat and manage your arthritis today.  Use our Chronic Disease Referral Form for more information and to connect with a program.  https://bit.ly/VAArthritisSurvey
  3. About 10 million adults with arthritis report either anxiety or depression symptoms. Conduct mental health screenings with your arthritis patients and empower them to take care of both their physical and mental health. bit.ly/ArthritisMH Note: Only for provider accounts

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Week 4 - Arthritis and Exercise

  1. Worksite wellness programs can improve the health of employees while also reducing health care costs for employers and improve worker productivity.  These programs can make it easier for employees to make voluntary changes to improve their health.  Learn more about lifestyle management programs for arthritis: Program Descriptions for Arthritis- Appropriate Lifestyle Management Programs | CDC.
  2. “Better Choices, Better Health” is an internet-based interactive group workshop for those living with arthritis.  It focuses on arthritis management skills including decision-making, problem solving, and action planning.  Learn more about this self-directed program and find a program near you: Better Choices, Better Health Program Description | Arthritis | CDC.

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