Managing the impacts of Long COVID can feel isolating. With new evidence emerging all the time and regular reporting in the media of the widespread and serious nature of the condition, it can be hard to know where to turn. To meet this growing need, we have recently launched an online support community for anyone affected by Long COVID.
Long COVID – are you experiencing it?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Long COVID is largely characterised by symptoms which may include shortness of breath, cognitive dysfunction and fatigue. However, the WHO acknowledges that more than 200 symptoms have been reported as indicative of Long COVID which extend to include chest pain, trouble with speech, ongoing cough, breathlessness, fatigue, anxiety and depression.
A person is usually considered to have Long COVID if their symptoms have persisted for longer than 12 weeks after their initial COVID-19 infection. Essentially, if it has been a few months after your infection with COVID-19, and you’re still experiencing symptoms, you may in fact be experiencing Long COVID.
You’re not alone.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly evident that the condition Long COVID is emerging as a serious public health concern that requires attention both within Australia and globally.
Are you looking for access to resources and support?
Health Issues Centre has recently launched Long COVID Support – an Australian first, standalone online community aimed at providing support and connection for individuals affected by Long COVID.
Developing this community has been made possible with funding from the Victorian Government Department of Health and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.
As a not-for-profit organisation centred on health consumer advocacy and identifying emerging health needs, we believe that the first step towards Long COVID recovery is to belong to a supportive community that can empathise and share knowledge and resources based on lived experience. This was the driving force that led to the development of the Long COVID Support community.
Long COVID Support – what can I expect?
Long COVID Support is an online platform where people who are affected by Long COVID can connect, gain support and access informative and evidence-based resources.
As peer support is the foundation of this initiative, the main arm of the Long COVID Support platform is the community forum where people can sign up and gain virtual access to others who share that lived experience and therefore, can provide empathetic support. This online community has been created as a safe and respectful space. To ensure the emotional safety and privacy of our members, the forum is regularly moderated by our experienced team members.
In addition to the Long COVID Support online forum, the platform also includes up-to-date, informative and evidence-based research and news articles, as well as a list of ever-evolving resources that individuals can access to aid in their Long COVID recovery.
Consumer co-design and collaboration
Gaining feedback and direction from consumers with lived experience of Long COVID was a high priority when designing the Long COVID Support platform. We achieved this through consumer surveys and gaining valuable feedback from our early phase testing members.
As part of our project, we plan to establish an advisory group to help shape our work in terms of content, strategic agenda, and external advocacy. They will also contribute to the co-design of our online community as it grows.
Gain the support, resources and information that you need by signing up today
If you or someone you know or care for is affected by Long COVID, please find further information below on how you can access free online support.
We look forward to connecting with you.
Long COVID Support team