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The Re:Set Guide to Supporting Someone with a Chronic Illness

Two people speaking on the phone, a person passing a bowl of soup to another and an open letter.
Most chronic conditions are incurable, so support your loved one whether they choose to undergo or abstain from treating their symptoms. Illustrations by (c) Reset Fest Inc, Canada

Mental Health

The Re:Set Guide to Supporting Someone with a Chronic Illness

Sometimes just being around to listen to rants is enough.

A physical or mental health condition that lasts more than one year and causes functional restrictions — that’s how science defines chronic illnesses. But, anyone who lives with one knows it is far more complicated than that. Ranging from common conditions like diabetes to rare ones like scleroderma, chronic illnesses affect nearly one in three people worldwide. The chances of you knowing someone who has a chronic condition are high. 

Here’s how you can sensitively provide the support they need:

A person with his head down and a woman sitting next to him. Words: Don’t make assumptions

Strips of medicines. Words: Support their choices

Man looking at his phone. Words: Google isn't always right

A person looking at his phone while another person looks away. Words: Don’t offer unsolicited advice

A woman giving a man a bowl of soup. Words: Give them unconditional support.

A hand writing in a notepad. Words: Keep a track of their information.

Two people speaking on the phone. Words: Check in, don't overwhelm.

A woman holding her head with a drained battery icon above her head. Words: Be adaptable.

A woman whispering into another woman's ear. Words: Don't speak for them.

An open letter and an envelope with a heart. Words: Be around.

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