Thank you for contacting me in relation to the recent mental health report that has been launched by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society. I can of course appreciate how much of an impact this condition can have on people’s mental health.

As you know, the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society play an invaluable role in being an advocate and offering support for those with the disease and it is important that they receive as much support as possible. Many long-term conditions can have a negative impact on someone’s mental health in many different ways, this can be because of the physical effects of the disease, not knowing what will happen in the future, regular hospital appointments, changes in employment and social life.

In the report it states that management of Rheumatoid Arthritis should be offered through cognitive behavioural therapy, stress management, relaxation therapy and cognitive coping skills. This is to help sufferers adjust to live with their condition and manage their psychological well-being. As you may know there are clear benefits to these types of intervention such as, improvements in fatigue, pain, coping, anxiety, joint swelling, self-confidence, depression and disability.

It is important that these services and opportunities are in place from the very beginning which is why I am pleased that this report has been launched. I have received a copy of the report and I will do whatever I can to further show my support on this issue.

If there is any action you would like me to take or anything else I can do to show support, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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