Independence, Inc. of Minot will hold a health promotion workshop called Living Well With A Disability. The 10-week workshop is geared toward people with a disability who want to learn the tools they need to live a healthier lifestyle, physically and mentally.
"Each of the chapters focuses on different topics, such as goal-setting to problem-solving to dealing with depression, physical activity and advocacy," said Kami Roberts, office manager and facilitator for the workshop at Independence, Inc.
"We have a lot of consumers and we do a lot of independent living-skills training," she added. "Lately we've gotten a lot of requests for health promotion information."
Katina Tengesdal/MDN - - Kami Roberts, office manager and workshop facilitator for Independence, Inc., shown here with the Living Well With A Disability workshop guide, will sit around a table with participants to teach the class.
The workshop, which was created at the University of Montana, has seen a lot of success helping people with a disability live a healthier lifestyle. Roberts said that from a survey conducted by the university, 98 percent of people who completed the workshop said they were happy with it and found an increase in peer support and community participation. They also reported a better overall well-being.
For people with disabilities, Roberts said, secondary conditions to their disability often occur that make living a healthy lifestyle difficult.
"A lot of the lifestyle topics are inter-related. For example, if you struggle with depression, you may need help introducing more physical activity. With the secondary conditions, it just snowballs for people. Before you know it, you're not happy or healthy, and you don't know where to go from there," Roberts said.
For those trying to live healthier lifestyles, the changes can be overwhelming and they often don't know where to start. The Living Well With A Disability workshop breaks down lifestyle changes into easier to complete steps.
As they go through the workshop, participants will record their own notes on how the information can relate to their own life and how they can use it to solve problems.
"During the workshop, you really have to look inside yourself and face the obstacles or barriers that are facing you, either societal or individual barriers," Roberts said. "The maintenance of the lifestyle changes will take work, too, because it's easy to slip back into those old habits."
In addition to teaching steps to help participants become more physically active and eat well, the workshop teaches advocacy and communication skills.
"For many of our consumers battling depression, they also struggle with communication," Roberts said. "The workshop will help to overcome those communication barriers."
The workshop will be taught in a group setting at Independence, Inc. Roberts will facilitate the group and use a variety of teaching techniques including reading, group discussion, examples and role playing.
"The workshop is very user-friendly, and being group oriented will be a benefit, too," Roberts said. "Participants can develop friendships and help each other maintain the new lifestyle they'll hopefully be developing."
For more information on the Living Well With A Disability workshop, contact Independence, Inc. at 839-4724.