Multiple Sclerosis: An Accredited CE Webinar Series for Mental Health Professionals
The Area Health Education Center (AHEC) organizations and the National MS Society share common goals around access to quality healthcare. Both organizations strive to improve access to quality care by attracting new talent to the field and increasing the knowledge and skills of practicing clinicians.
In collaboration with Wake AHEC, located in North Carolina, a series of webinars was developed to provide an overview of multiple sclerosis, to describe common challenges of the diagnosis and to help mental health professionals understand the impact of cognitive challenges in MS.
Webinar 1: Multiple Sclerosis: An Overview and Adapting to Life with MS
A two-part program; the first webinar provides an overview of MS, including: info about damage to the body’s immune system; genetic and environmental factors that combine to cause the disease process; and strategies for slowing the disease process, treating relapses, and managing symptoms. The webinar reinforces the importance of early and ongoing treatment and highlights the members of the MS healthcare team. The second webinar describes the stresses of living with a chronic, unpredictable illness and the challenges most common at diagnosis, when/if the disease transitions to a more progressive or advanced course. The role of normal grieving is discussed, and ways to distinguish it from depression. The webinar also offers information about the impact of MS on the entire family and offers suggestions for successful coping strategies.
Webinar 2: Multiple Sclerosis: Cognitive Dysfunction & Professional Challenges
A two-part program; the first webinar describes the cognitive impairment that occurs in about 65% of people with MS. The presentation explains the relationship between cognitive impairment and other factors such as disease course and progression. It highlights the impact of cognitive changes on employment, communication, relationships, and quality of life, as discusses treatment strategies. The second webinar describes for mental health professionals the unique challenges – and rewards – in working with individuals and families living with MS. The presentation describes the importance of teamwork and offers guidance about dealing with the emotionally healthy patient as well as those with mental health issues in addition to the challenges of MS. Guidance is also offered for therapists who have MS themselves.