Virtual MS sessions transformative for Lockerbie woman

A Dumfries and Galloway woman has praised the transformative effects virtual sessions for living with multiple sclerosis (MS) have had on her life.

Arlene Graham, a graphic designer based in Lockerbie, joined the virtual ‘Living Well with MS’ sessions run by MS Society Scotland and has seen a marked improvement in the way she manages her condition and mental health.

The online sessions give people living in rural and remote areas an opportunity to connect with other people in a similar situation from the comfort of their own homes.

Arlene said: “I wanted the chance to meet more people living with MS. My friends and family have been incredibly supportive but it’s different speaking to other people with the condition.

“I thought it would be good to attend a Living Well with MS session but the nearest one was in Glasgow and it just wasn’t feasible to travel that far.

“Because you get the chance to share different strategies for living with MS there have been things I’ve taken from others in the group but I was also able to share things that have really helped me and that’s very satisfying.

“Little things like focusing on what makes you happy or a bit of meditation can have a huge difference and finding about a bit more about those kinds of strategies has been fantastic.

“The sessions were overwhelmingly positive and I really looked forward to joining in each week.”

Living Well with MS is held for an hour and a half per week over four weeks and offers participants a chance to get to know other people who have also recently been diagnosed.

Following the sessions participants have the opportunity to stay in touch with others online.

Coleen Kelly, Self Management Lead at MS Society Scotland, said: “We’re pleased that Arlene has benefitted so much from our Living Well with MS virtual sessions.

“MS is unpredictable and different for everyone so it’s important that people can access this support in a way that feels right for them and fits into their lives and doing things online does just that.

“We are committed to working with people affected by MS to develop a flexible programme of support which helps them to feel more confident and knowledgeable to manage their health and well-being.  

“We were delighted to receive funding from the RS MacDonald Charitable Trust to help us connect people living in rural and remote areas of Scotland who have been newly diagnosed with MS.”

MS Society Scotland recently launched more Living Well virtual sessions, along with their face-to-face sessions to take place throughout 2019 starting in February.

For more information on the sessions visit: mssociety.org.uk/living-well-with-ms-events.

MS affects more than 11,000 people in Scotland. It’s often painful and exhausting, and can cause problems with how we walk, move, see think and feel. It’s unpredictable and different for everyone.