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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Summer 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination Advice from Professor Carroll AM | The Role of the Local Area Coordinator | Continence Physiotherapy | Counselling: Men, Let's Talk

COUNSELLING, PEER

COUNSELLING, PEER SUPPORT & HEALTH EDUCATION NEWLY DIAGNOSED INFORMATION EVENING Our Newly Diagnosed (MS) information evening made a comeback last year at two locations, MSWA Belmont and MSWA Rockingham. Our newly diagnosed Clients were invited to bring their family or support person for an informal opportunity to meet with others in a similar situation and the chance to ask our experienced staff any questions. Our Rockingham Centre had 14 people in attendance, as well as six MSWA staff: Jill Crombie (Senior Neurological Liaison Nurse), Janice Petrovic (Counsellor), Sharon Mundy (Senior Physiotherapist), Misty Reinkowsky (Dietitian), Ann Hall (Neurological Liaison Nurse) and Dajana Tesevic (Counsellor & Coordinator of Health Education and Peer Support). The focus of the information evening is to create a safe place for Clients and their support persons, to listen to others and share experiences of living with MS. The group also provides a place to seek support from those with a lived understanding of MS, and MSWA staff members. Feedback from attendees at this recent session, was that the group was a way for them to gain new information about MS, listen to others’ experiences and to participate in the support system. Our Peer Volunteers, Vanessa Baker and Warren Henry, were in attendance to share their personal stories of being diagnosed with MS and their journey so far. They spoke about how they manage their symptoms, how they maintain their wellbeing and positive outlook on life with MS over the years. Feedback from attendees included: “I have learned strategies for moving forward and placing importance of my own journey.” “I found it very useful having peer support people living with MS to come and speak to us, as it puts things into perspective and reassures you are not alone.” “The content was most beneficial for my sister to have a better understanding of MS. My sister now feels comfortable knowing that there is a lot of support for me and others who are living with MS.” With very positive feedback from the groups, we will be holding more Newly Diagnosed information evenings in 2021, so keep an eye out on our MSWA website under Programs, Workshops & Events. Alternatively, if you are interested in attending or would like to provide any feedback, please phone Dajana Tesevic on 9365 4858 or email dajana.tesevic@mswa.org.au DAJANA TESEVIC MSWA COUNSELLOR/ COORDINATOR OF HEALTH EDUCATION & PEER SUPPORT 26

BRAND, MARKETING & SALES MSWA FAMILY FUN DAY In November we welcomed over 50 families to our first MSWA Family Fun Day at Caversham Wildlife Park. It was the perfect venue. We fed the kangaroos, cuddled the wombats, and got up close and personal with the koalas, reptiles and other animals. As it warmed up, we retreated to the shaded area for refreshments while the kids lined up for face painting and made some giant bubbles. It was not long before they were moving off again to catch the penguin feeding and the farm show. Then it was time for lunch, which kept the kids quiet for a little while, and one last round of the wildlife park before home time. The Family Fun Day was made possible by the children and families who participated in the MS Readathon in August last year. The 5,000 children who participated raised over 0,000 to help MSWA fund initiatives that support children of families living with a neurological condition in WA. It was great to meet all the lovely families who came along and was very rewarding for my sevenyear-old to see the result of her MS Readathon fundraising efforts. Everyone appeared to enjoy themselves and we look forward to welcoming you all again to the next one. We are already planning the next event, so stay tuned. If you and your children or grandchildren would like to take part in our future events, email me at family.events@mswa.org.au You can also register your interest to get involved in the 2021 MS Readathon – join the fundraising fun and help us make more MSWA Family Fun Days possible! SHELLY THOMPSON GIVING MANAGER 27