This week, we have launched a Facebook group for those living with, supporting others with or have an interest in arthritis and autoimmune conditions.

Since I launched my Facebook page earlier this year to promote my writing, we have seen a growing community develop. It’s been amazing to watch followers, complete strangers to one another, support each other, especially during these difficult times. Therefore, it seemed like a missed opportunity to not create a home for this community to flourish.

My facebook page will continue to be the face of JoelvsArthritis’ presence on Facebook, the first place you will find new articles, published work, daily snippets of my life with arthritis and information on the work I am doing to raise awareness but the Facebook Group gives us a place to grow a community. A support network.

The group will be private, so that members can post and ask questions in confidence but it will be visible on Facebook so that others can find us and join the conversation, regardless of whether they have an interest in my work or not. I hope in time, it will be a much larger community than any simply interested in my writing and story.

Groups also give us much more functionality than my current page does – for example, user-created polls with multiple options (pages only allow two answers, such as ‘yes’ or ‘no’), the community will be able to share videos and articles they have found or find useful and we can also create ‘rooms’ and post topics for those real specific issues that only others with the condition will understand. The group content should be ‘community driven’ rather than from me.

So if you want to talk about your condition with others that ‘just get it’, join the group today and get the conversation started and support one another.

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Arthritis and Psoriasis Patient Advocate, Writer And Consultant. Owner Of The Pain Company.

I share my story of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis to raise awareness and specialise in pain, parenting (with disability) and the mental health impact of living with chronic illness. I write and campaign for leading charities and organisations. In addition, I provide patient experience consultancy for both charities and global healthcare companies.

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