Health boards, otherwise known as a health board or health forum
Are online resources, allowing patients to share their health stories with others. A health forum is designed to offer support, empowerment, and entertainment. Often readers are currently dealing with the same disease and can be involved in an international community.
There are a number of sites that facilitate these conversations which offer support, opinions and “been there, done that” advice.
There are all sorts of mental and physical topics up for discussion in a health forum.
Here is just a sampling:
- Breast Feeding
- Chronic Fatigue
- Eating Disorders
- Family Health
- Gall Bladder
- Kidney Disease
- Lyme Disease
- Military Health Issues
- Nutrition Disorders
- Rape/Sexual Abuse
- Senior Citizen care
- Vitamin Deficiency
All contact information is kept private.
How can a health board be used?
Patients can write their thoughts and opinions in a therapeutic way within their health message.
This is particularly useful when patients are battling depression and feel a range of emotions from fear to anger. If a patient is feeling alone as if no one understands what they are going through or even suicidal, a health board can be just the thing to provide encouragement.
Users are encouraged to be themselves and have fun when adding a health message.
Sometimes this means telling funny aspects of the healthcare situation, but it can also mean expressing the fears and tears. Regardless, it’s important to reach out and feel comfortable in your own skin.
Teens are sometimes limited if they are under 18 years old. Some sites ask that they indicate they are a teen and/or use designated boards for teens.
Watching someone we love to deal with an illness or condition is trying. For those friends and families who want to share their stories, many online health forums provide categories.
You can find these forums under the following titles:
- Family & Friends
- Mental Health
- Relationship Health
What a Health board is NOT
A patient should NEVER depend on the information they learn on the health forum. All health message contributions are opinions only and are not meant to substitute for the care and diagnosis of a qualified medical professional.
Also, remember that what’s right or has worked for one person may not be what’s right for you.
Your personal set of circumstances will always influence what’s best or right for you.
Talk with your physician or personal health professional about the benefits, risks, and costs of various options and alternatives in order to make an informed, confident personal choice.
Beyond a Health Forum
Support is the number one priority of a health board. In providing as much care and concern as possible, many online sites offer international help-lines, especially for those who have suicidal thoughts.
Below is a list of help-lines that are happy to assist:
- 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) National Suicide Hotline
- 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453) National Child Abuse Hotline
- 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233) National Domestic Violence Hotline
- http://www.samaritans.org (for those in the UK or Ireland)
- www.nmha.org National Mental Health Association Information Center
Patients are encouraged to get involved by reading the community health forums.
While including a health message may be intimidating at first, it’s important to be an active support member for yourself and for others. Whatever your comfort level is, take time to familiarize yourself with what’s available, and before you know it, you may be one of the most active participants.
Typically, online health forums have the right to delete health message contributions or prohibit users who are abusing their privileges.
Please familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of using any health board forum.