Our team of Community Advisors are there to provide information and support to people living with MS as well as all people affected by MS, including family members, employers, friends, and carers.
They cover the whole Auckland region and are community based so are available to meet you in your home or workplace. While their regular hours are 9am to 5pm on weekdays, they are available to meet outside of working hours and weekends by arrangement.
The Community Advisors are also available on the phone or through a variety of digital means, including Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp or Facetime.
If you are newly diagnosed, or new to MS Auckland, they will ask you to fill in a few forms. This will get you logged into our system and, if you would like, you can receive our monthly e-newsletter and our magazine. All newly diagnosed people also receive a book on Overcoming MS. This is a comprehensive book that looks at ways in which people can empower themselves with tools to manage their MS symptoms.
The Community Advisors are skilled professionals, however they are not medical professionals. They work closely with the MS team at Auckland Hospital to provide non-medical community care and support. They comply with the Health Information Privacy Code 1994 and recognise The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights.
Some of the areas in which a Community Advisor may be able to assist you include:
- Discussing and understanding your MS diagnosis and what this means for you, your family and for the future
- Providing up-to-date knowledge of MS and ways to manage it
- Advocating on your behalf
- Providing counselling support and programmes
- Providing referrals to other agencies and health professionals
- Supporting partners, carers, families, friends, employers and work colleagues
- Arranging and facilitating support groups and networks
- Conducting assessment of needs, such as for the Total Mobility Scheme
- Liaising with other services providers, such as Income Support and home care agencies.
If you would like to speak to a Community Advisor, or if you would like to refer someone to the Community Advisor services please complete our Referral Form.
“My Community Advisor has always been a strong support for me. During my MS relapses, with working issues, or important family matters, she has provided amazing support and been a calm listener.” .
“Without the MS Auckland Community Advisor, I would not have known what to do. She saved us. I do not know what we would have done without her.”
“My Community Advisor has always been there for me, regularly ringing me or visiting me. Last year I had a massive relapse and I was hospitalised for some months, she brought me a wheelchair on discharge for as long as I needed it as I didn’t qualify for one through the Ministry of Health. My Community Advisor also helped to arrange some home help and carer support for me which has helped me to conserve a lot of my energy so that I can be a mum to my 3 boys. I don’t know what I would do without my Community Advisor or Multiple Sclerosis Auckland.”
“My Community Advisor is often the only person I can speak to regarding my brother’s condition as few people understand the devastating effects of this disease. Her job is overwhelming but it is done with cheerfulness, humour and very little funding.”