#NHBPM Being a health activist is a new role with the use of online media. I define health activism is taking the time to learn about your ailment, share your information with others, and work to help others cope with the ailment. It can also include advocacy and outreach efforts.
WegoHealth wrote a white paper about what is a health activist tht you can read here. Their definition is:
"Health Activists are leaders who work daily to improve the way people talk and think about health. If you are sharing your health story and helping others live better lives – you may already be a Health Activist. Health Activists are passionate about raising awareness for health causes, dedicated to finding the best information about health conditions, and relentless in their commitment to help others. They are also adept at using every tool possible to reach their communities, especially through social media."
I have some how gotten myself into this role for breast and thyroid cancer. I am comfortable in this role for these two ailments because I have educated myself, taken the time to learn about them, and am comfortable sharing information and directing others to resources that will help them.
I do a lot of this through this blog but also on Facebook and other message boards. You see me do this when I write about an article, or a website, or treatment experience. This is activism in action. This helps me cope with my cancers by helping others.
My problem now is I need to get myself to the same level of knowledge on my newer ailments - fibro and rheumatoid. If I can get myself educated on them so I can become more comfortable with them. Will I end up as a health activist for them as well? Only time will tell. But it will help me cope.