I’m extremely proud to be presenting Community Forums to VeganOstomy! As a long time user of various online forums, I know the value they can bring – if done right. I also know what problems exist on current forums.
I’ve spent a lot of time on many IBD, ostomy, and vegan related forums, and I felt that it was the right time for me to create a forum of my own to support the communities that I want to help the most.
Back in February of this year, I sent out an online poll to my newsletter subscribers and various social media sites to ask my followers if a VeganOstomy forum would benefit the community and whether they’d use it. The results, quite frankly, surprised me – it was overwhelmingly in favor of an online forum. So with some newly found motivation, a dedicated group of Beta Testers (thanks, guys, and gals!), many late (really late) nights, some software upgrades, and countless hours testing – it’s ready to go public!
Why join the Community Forums?
The VeganOstomy Community Forums have been created to offer members a safe place to connect with others and discuss topics related to IBD (and other chronic illnesses), ostomies, and/or veganism. These forums are open to patients, their caregivers, family, and friends. That’s my vision, but here’s what some of my pollsters had to say about having an online support forum available to them:
- “I find reading these forums when I have a problem to be helpful – especially when someone writes about how they dealt with an issue. They can be very useful.”
- “Some of the best information … comes from others that have the same problem or situation.”
- “A forum would be wonderful and is much needed. I do not have access to a support group and I have yet to meet a fellow ostomate…”
- “It would be very beneficial for me to be able to talk to other people with ostomies.”
- “It will definitely add another dimension to your website and make it more interactive. It will encourage the followers to be more proactive, which will help explore more areas in an ostomate life.”
- “Sharing info is always a benefit.”
- “More peer support the better.”
- “So many little questions come up and nowhere to share with other Ostomy folks to get real answers.”
- “Sometimes you just need people to talk to. Doctors, nurses, friends, and family can be a comfort and give advice but sometimes you just need those assurances from the people who actually understand what you are going through or dealing with. Often those times you are most frightened or most concerned, you are cut off from your normal sources of support. It is nice to have another option out there!”
- “…it would give people somewhere to go and get advice support and find people who suffer from IBD or similar situations as themselves.”
- “It would be a help because, although I know other vegans, I don’t know any with ostomy bags.”
A Community for You
Whether you have an ostomy, were just diagnosed with IBD, transitioning to veganism, or all of the above(!!), I want these forums to be about you. Right now, here’s a small taste of the forums currently available, but these will expand as more members come on board:
- General Ostomy Forum
- Continent Ostomies
- LGBT Ostomates
- Caregivers (of ostomates)
- Ostomy Tips and Tricks
- IBD General Forum
- IBD Treatment Options
- Vegan Newbie Help
- Food and Recipes
- About the Animals
I get too many emails from people who have no support in their lives, and this new community will help to bridge the gap between those who are need of support and those who are willing to be mentors to those in need.
I encourage positive participation and discussions, but I would also love for you to vent if you need to – we all do at some point.
You can get started on the Community Forums by clicking on the forums button in the top menu, or by visiting www.veganostomy.ca/community/ Just like with any other forum, you’ll need to register an account – but don’t worry, it takes seconds to register and you’ll be ready to post instantly! If you need help on how to use the forums, my forums walkthrough will show you the ropes. You may also want to check out the Community Forums FAQs for more answers to common questions. Once you’re logged in, feel free to ask questions, offer tips and advice, or introduce yourself – but please remember to be respectful and thoughtful.