Living with Chronic Pain & Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Participate

Are you living with an ongoing health condition that makes if hard to do the things you want to do?

Take Charge! workshops are for people who live with any chronic health condition.

A caregiver, family member or friend who is supporting someone with a chronic condition can attend even if the person with the chronic condition does not. They will learn skills to help support others and take care of themselves.

There are many ongoing or recurring health conditions. Some examples of chronic health conditions include:

  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Hepatitis
  • Chronic Pain
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Lung disease (COPD)
  • HIV/ AIDs
  • Heart disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Autoimmune disorders (example lupus, Crohns, and colitis)
  • Any other ongoing health condition

We do not expect that a chronic condition will go away. But, we can learn ways to manageand live a healthy life with a chronic condition.

During the workshop, there are short breaks. You may leave the room at any time, stand up, stretch or tend to your needs. The workshop is considered to be safe for people with ongoing health conditions.

What is self management of a chronic condition

The Take Charge! program teaches people to get the most out of life with thier chronic condition.

Self-management of a chronic condition means:

  • Being able to manage the daily tasks to live well with one or more chronic conditions.
  • Being able to solve more of your daily problems
  • Being able to express your needs
  • Being able to find answers to your questions
  • Knowing what resources and supports are available in your community.

The Take Charge! program is based on the model from Stanford University. It follows a plan that helps people manage their symptoms and become less limited by their illness

The workshop focuses on:

  • Self-care
  • Learning new ways to cope
  • Sharing experiences with other members

The workshop helps you build confidence for managing your health, while staying active and enjoying life. It does not cure your condition but helps you to live well with it.

Find out here what you will learn at the workshop.

You can live a healthy and happy life with your chronic health condition.

Can a family member or a caregiver attend

If you are a caregiver, family member or friend who is supporting someone with a chronic condition you are welcome to attend the workshop.

You can benefit from learning skills to help support others and to take care of yourself.

A caregiver can attend even if the person with the chronic condition does not. There is no cost to participate in the workshop.

All participants (including family members and caregivers) must pre-register for a workshop. There are no drop-ins allowed. We recommend participants attend all 6 sessions or as many as possible. The more sessions attended, the more benefit! to register for a workshop please go to www.takecontroltakecharge.ca

Do I need a referral to attend the workshop

You do not need a referral to attend the workshop.

Some people find out about the workshop from their doctor or a healthcare professional.

The workshop is open to anyone with an ongoing physical or mental health condition.

A caregiver, family member or friend who is supporting someone with a chronic condition is also welcome to attend. *Everyone must register for a workshop.*

You may be wondering if a Take Charge! workshop is right for you. If you agree with one or more of these statements, you should consider registering for a workshop.

  • I have one or more long term (chronic) health problems or conditions.
  • I would like to feel more in control and do the things I want to do.
  • I would like to meet people who are working on similar challenges.
  • I am looking for new ways to manage my health condition.
  • I am a caregiver, family member or a friend of someone with a long term (chronic) health problem or condition.

Take Charge! is not helpful for someone with memory impairment or for someone who does not want to be part of a group.

The Take Charge! workshop does not replace the treatment you get from your healthcare professional. It is meant to compliment the help you get. The workshop is not a cure, but it can help you to live a better healthier life with your condition.

Click here to find a workshop in your area.

What will I learn at the workshop?

You will learn:

  • goal setting
  • planning
  • problem solving
  • communication

Learn how to set your own action plan each week and solve problems you experience.

An action plan is a simple and easy way to help you plan and get the results that you want. We will show you how to do this.

Get ready to take an active role trying new ideas, listening to others and sharing thoughts and ideas. Expect to meet about 10 new people in your workshop.

Some of the skills you will learn are:

  • how to manage stress
  • how to set goals and get positive results
  • how to get more exercise and eat well
  • how to talk about treatment decisions
  • how to manage pain and fatigue

There are many topics and skills that you will learn. Everyone receives a free copy of the book “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions”, at no cost to them.

The audio book version of “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” has been donated to public libraries in Brant, Burlington, Hamilton, Haldimand, Norfolk, and Niagara. Contact your local branch to find out how you can borrow a copy.

Everyone taking part in the workshops will agree to:

  • Come to every session
  • Be respectful of others and their ideas
  • Maintain confidentiality (keep group members information private)
  • Give any new activities at least a two-week trial
  • Make and complete a weekly action plan
  • Turn off your cell phones/pagers during the workshop

The Take Charge! Program is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and is part of the provincial strategy to prevent and manage chronic disease.

Support Group

Living Sharing Caring

Take Charge members can interact with other members who suffer from the problems related to their illness

Online Chronic Self-Management Program

FREE to individuals across Ontario who are living with one or more chronic conditions such as diabetes, chronic pain, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, heart or kidney conditions. Many of the workshops are also beneficial for caregivers and anyone looking to improve their health literacy. The online programs can be accessed from any device with an internet connection and have been designed to meet different needs; from one-on-one health coaching and group-based workshop series, to one-time health literacy webinars. To learn more about the online self-management programs or to register for an upcoming program visit


or call (Toll-free) 1-844-301-6389

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Self Management Program

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