Arthritis NZ gave a Gout Arthritis talk to employees of Silver Fern Farms in Hawera, South Taranaki on Wednesday 31st August.

“We had over 20 participants and we worked our way through the basics around Gout Arthritis, answered common questions, and busted myths that often shadow the easily treatable condition,” says Georgie-Anne Cox, Community Coordinator and presenter from Arthritis NZ. “As a group, we had great conversations about the self-management of Gout Arthritis and how much of a difference a supportive employer can make with long-term treatment plans.”

Hawera Silver Fern Farms gout workshop for employees.

Lesley Potts, People & Capability Manager at Silver Fern Farms, said Gout Arthritis is a big issue in the workplace, not only leading to time off for the staff but also then the knock-on effect of the financial and emotional impact of letting whanau or co-workers down.

An employee commented on how it was nice to have Gout Arthritis explained to him, he said “normally when you go to the doctor it’s all fast and too much information, I kinda shut down and have never even wanted to know about my Gout, even though I’m pretty sure I have it”.  

Georgie Cox (Arthritis NZ), Jamie Coburn, Evelyn Gutierrez,
Scott Lamplough (Hawera Silver Fern Farms) 

“It was really refreshing to see such proactive employers, especially somewhere so rural. Sometimes we can see a lot of shame around a condition like Gout Arthritis, I challenged the employees to encourage their colleagues, family, and friends to seek support and treatment if they are having Gout attacks. What we were told 20 years ago about Gout has made a wrongful stigma that it’s a self-inflicting condition. We know that’s not the complete story and genetics play a much stronger role. Helping and supporting co-workers to understand this is key to people feeling comfortable seeking treatment,” said Cox.

Reach out to the Arthritis NZ Arthritis Assist team for help with your Gout Arthritis by emailing or calling 0800 663 463.

Click here to see all the Arthritis Assist services available from Arthritis NZ.

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