June 25, 2020

Australia – IDFA’s support to members during a pandemic

When COVID-19 entered our shores, we were forced to cancel all planned events and discover new methods to support our members on a national scale. So how does a small not-for-profit organisation offer support for patients who are now living in self-isolation?

After several discussions we raised concerns about the mental health impact COVID-19 may have on our members. Many patients living with primary immunodeficiency (PID) already live with a level of anxiety when it comes to managing their physical health, therefore a global pandemic would surely amplify those feelings.

That’s when our Member Support Officer, Chloe, stepped in to provide additional support and began hosting weekly online Group Chats for IDFA members.

The Group Chats provide an opportunity for our members to meet others living with a PID, exchanging stories and experiences with those who have a shared understanding of the unique circumstances they are living in. Chloe brings her sense of fun and frivolity to the sessions by creating themes such as “Date Night” where members were asked to dress up in their finest attire. The online sessions are an informal and fun way for our members to connect with each other and, hopefully, friendships are formed across the digital divide.

These are unusual times we are living in and, as Australia slowly begins to ease the isolation restrictions for the general population, many PID patients may continue to self-isolate. The Group Chats hosted by IDFA have been of great value to our members and we are continuing to run these online chats for the foreseeable future. IDFA are proud to support Australians living with a PID and we can’t wait to meet up with our members in person once again.