Treat Stress to Manage and Prevent Chronic Disease

Research, including the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, demonstrates that adverse events and stress – especially persistent, toxic stress or traumatic incidents – can lead to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer, as well as depression, alcoholism and drug abuse.

Learn more by watching pediatrician Dr. Nadine Burke Harris explain how childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime.

As we start acknowledging the impact that stress and trauma can have on our health, we can start to develop skills for coping with the bad things that happen and develop strategies to prevent them from happening. We encourage you to take this stress quiz, provided by Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri, to determine if stress is affecting your health.

Need Resources to Help Manage Your Health?

If you need access to healthcare to help manage your health, visit or


Gateway Region YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program

Based on effective efforts researched by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program will help you learn about and adopt the healthy eating and physical activity habits that have been proven to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Through the program you will receive support and encouragement from both a trained lifestyle coach and fellow classmates as you develop a plan for improving and maintaining your overall well-being. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.


Phone: Call your neighborhood YMCA


Affinia Healthcare Chronic Disease Management Program

To help combat these diseases, Afiinia’s Chronic Disease Management department provides in-home coaching and support to patients suffering from chronic diseases. Health care coaches educate patients on the importance of ownership of their medical care management. Also, in conjunction with the clients’ physicians, the coaches provide clients with self-management options to improve their quality of life. Cluster clinics and support groups have been established to provide peer support. This program is available to Affinia Healthcare patients.


Phone: 314-814-8722 or 314-898-1700


St. Louis County Department of Public Health

The Department of Public Health offers a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program. This is a free six-week course on self-management skills for certain chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease.


Phone: 314-615-0506 or 314-615-0508


OASIS Institute

The OASIS Institute’s Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP), developed by Stanford University is an interactive six-week class designed to enhance regular treatment and disease-specific education such as Better Breathers, cardiac rehabilitation or diabetes instruction. Classes are facilitated by a trained leader and peer leader.

This free program is especially helpful for people with more than one chronic condition, as it gives them the skills to coordinate all the things needed to manage their health and to stay active.


Phone: 314-862-2933


Many area hospitals offer classes and support groups for those dealing with specific illnesses and chronic diseases. For a list of offerings, contact your local hospital.

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