Frequently Asked Questions
What is chronic illness? A chronic illness is a physical or emotional health challenge that has no known cause or cure and often stays with a patient throughout life. People can be diagnosed with chronic illness at any age. Chronic illnesses can be invisible, meaning the symptoms cannot be seen.
What is a rare chronic illness? A rare chronic illness is a disease or disorder that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans at any given time. Please note other countries may have different ways of measuring rare disease.
Who leads your support groups? All of our support groups are led by licensed mental health professionals, who have specialized training in working with the chronic illness population.
What is the structure of a typical meeting? Our groups are designed to offer a safe space for people living with different types of health challenges to come together and share their stories and experiences as well as learn tools and insights for living as well as possible with their illness. Our facilitators may offer structure to the conversation depending on the nature of the group, for example, our mindfulness group may include sharing and discussion as well as meditation or self-compassion practices.
How often do the groups meet? All of our current support groups meet once per month for one hour.
What if I don't live in Seattle? Currently, all of our in-person programs are located in the greater Seattle area however, we will be launching our first web-based programs in fall 2018.
Why are your programs professionally-led? There are many valuable peer-led resources out there for the chronic illness community, however, not very many professional ones. The professional ones that do exist often come with a cost. We wanted to remove any barriers that might exist for patients obtaining the support they need and create a unique opportunity for them to receive compassionate and professional support while being able to connect with others living with similar challenges.
Do you have any groups for my specific illness? At this time, all of our support groups are designed to bring people together who live with different types of health challenges, rather than focus on one specific illness. If you are interested in an illness-specific group and there are not any already being offered by an illness-specific organization, please contact us. We look to fill gaps in support within the chronic illness community and may be able to start a group for a specific illness or group of illnesses if no other resource exists.
How is this a free service? We understand the high price of living with chronic illness - between medical appointments, often expensive medications, and tests and surgeries. When we created CCI, we didn't want accessing our programs to be another financial hardship on chronic illness patients. That being said, we are a nonprofit and it does take money and resources to make these program possible. If you are interested and able, we would be grateful for your contributions. Learn about all the ways you can contribute on our Donate page.