Dita: What can MSers access for emotional support?
Professor Rona Moss-Moris, Health psychologist: This is quite difficult and I think that’s what’s quite exciting, is what Shift’s offering because I think just what Shift offers anyway, a kind of peer support network, knowing that there are others out there, that you’re not alone, I think those kind of things are incredibly important. We do have a manual which we developed for the saMS trial, funded by the MS Society, and people can access that manual. People can go to their GP and discuss alternatives if they’re needing it, and I think it’s very important to know that actually it’s okay to be distressed, you don’t have to be ashamed, you don’t have to hide it from anywhere, actually, there is support out there. There’s also services like improving access to psychological therapy, sometimes you can get referred through your GP. Some centres actually, depending on where you live, you can actually self-refer, so sometimes you’re feeling you need more professional support, you can do that.
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Professor Rona Moss-Morris is Chair in Psychology as Applied to Medicine at King's College London. Her research has focussed on understanding adjustment to chronic illness from patient and family perspectives, and developing self management and CBT techniques for illnesses such as multiple sclerosis.