What We do
Invisible Illnesses (formerly Fibro & Us) is a registered Not for Profit in-person support and social group for those who suffer with an Invisible Illness, such as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Depression Chronic Fatigue and Mental Health in WA. We understand what it’s like to feel alone while struggling with an invisible illness and support not only sufferers but those that support sufferers as well.
We are a registered Centrelink approved organisation for those who have to volunteer for a certain amount of hours to be able to receive their benefits. We also work with a number of disability groups, giving those with other conditions such as Autism a chance of volunteering and learning new skills.
We are a self-funded group. Most of our income comes from membership fees, fundraising, grants and the few items we sell at different events. Invisible Illnesses constantly advocate the awareness of Invisible Illnesses by attending many different markets, fairs, shows etc through the metro & rural areas.
Support and educate people diagnosed with an invisible illness
Our Annual Never Hide Your Wings Gala & Recognition Night and our roaming lunches along with our engagement of social media meet this aim. We support each other by being involved with these important events and forums. We can observe how wonderful we are all looking; confirming for us all that it is possible to live a good life despite the diagnosis of an invisible illness.
Educate health professionals in the management of symptoms of Fibromyalgia and other invisible illnesses
We are increasing the knowledge base of many health professionals by being the face of Invisible Illnesses at our medical consultations, by asking difficult questions and by requiring answers and referrals. Many GPs would not yet be aware that the first medication for Fibromyalgia, Milnacipran (Joncia) was approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia in November 2011. The education of Health Professionals is ongoing.
We are currently in the process of sending out questionnaires to Health Professionals to gauge their knowledge and understanding of Fibromyalgia and it’s Co-Conditions. From the responses we collect we are creating a database of Fibro Friendly Professionals in all fields. We can all play a part in our accurate descriptions of symptoms of Fibromyalgia and it’s co conditions during medical consultations.
Increase community awareness of the implications of a diagnosis of an Invisible Illness
Increasing community awareness is an ever moving invisible force that again comes from us as we talk to our neighbours, friends, family and work colleagues. Anybody really! We need to talk about what an invisible illness is; we need to educate our communities that for many of us with these condition, we may not always be at our best, at our most reliable. We have to overcome the stigma of our supposed hypochondria and educate the uneducated in this matter. This is what increases community awareness.
We know it is sometimes easier to just be quiet and adjourn to wherever without an explanation. We also attend shopping centres, markets & other events where we hand out leaflets and speak to people about Fibromyalgia and other Invisible Illnesses. We hear far to often “I didn’t know there was support available” or “I thought I was the only one” We encourage you all to start talking! By talking about your Invisible Illness it will help break the stigma that has become associated with these conditions and raise awareness.
We work hard to increase awareness of different invisible illnesses and facilitate support networks for people with them. The things that we do as part of this work include:
- Coffee meetings for members to meet other members in a relaxed social environment once a month
- Development and provision of Invisible Illness information leaflets & other information sheets
- Public Educational Forums on Invisible Illnesses every 3 months where we have different speakers talk about ways of managing an invisible illness. We have speakers from both the medical and holistic side
- Annual celebratory Never Hide Your Wings Gala & Recognition Night
- Fundraising and public awareness events such as Sausage Sizzles and attending different markets & shopping centres and Agricultural Shows
- Provide speakers for different invisible illnesses awareness events
- Member of Western Australia Social Services (WACOSS)
- Member of ConnectGroups WA
- Member of Volunteering WA
- Member of District 32
- Members of Act Belong Commit
- Web site
We are affiliated with:
- 360 Health