There are around 15,000 children and young people in the UK coping with some form of arthritis every day.

If you’re living with arthritis, it might be that you are the only one in your school that has it. You might feel lonely and isolated. But you are not alone, there is help available if you want advice and support.

Being in pain and having a chronic health condition like arthritis can sometimes lead to low mood and frustration. These feelings are natural, common and understandable. Arthritis is nothing to be ashamed of.

Versus Arthritis has loads of great information about living with arthritis. These are some of the positive steps they suggest you can take to help yourself feel better:

  1. Staying healthy. Exercising and having a healthy diet might not immediately take away the pain, frustration or sadness you might be feeling, but they can improve your health and sense of well-being.
  2. Do something you enjoy. It can help if, each day, you try at least one activity to give you a sense of enjoyment and at least one activity to give you a sense of achievement.

  3. Talk about it. It’s important you talk to someone you can trust if you’re feeling worried. Try to remember you’re not alone, and there are plenty of people who want to help you.

Arthritis Care Scotland also give young people with arthritis opportunities to support their peers and raise awareness in schools and with health professionals.

Here are some of the things that young people said they thought would help make things better for pupils who have arthritis:

  1. Better awareness of arthritis amongst school staff.
  2. The opportunity for specialist nurses to visit schools where necessary.
  3. Better awareness of arthritis in schools – young people said they would be happy to talk to pupils in schools and provide peer to peer support to other young people with arthritis in schools.
  4. Support when it’s needed, like during exam times.

Need more advice about arthritis? You can call Verses arthritis on 0800 5200 520 or click here for more information.