Crohn's & Colitis Australia (CCA) is the peak national body representing more than 85,000 Australians living with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). For over 30 years CCA has been helping make life more liveable for Australians living with IBD by driving quality of care for our community by educating, supporting, increasing awareness, advocating and research. CCA's programs and services include information forums, support groups, online and telephone helpline, research programs, youth camps, 'Can't Wait Card' and Crohn's & Colitis Hub.
IBD Support Australia provides resources for people living with IBD. Information sheets on IBD are available for download, along with a link to a Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (CDAI) calculator. Visitors have the opportunity to join an online community of people who have been affected by IBD and share their experiences.
Centrelink is a program in the Department of Human Services that delivers a range of payments and services for a wide range of people e.g. unemployed, families and people with disabilities. It also provides services in times of major change. At present, there are three types of payments available for people with a medical condition who are looking for work – the Newstart Allowance, Disability Support Pension and Sickness Allowance. Please note that Centrelink requires documented evidence for all medical conditions.
IBD helpline 1800 138 029
The IBD Helpline is a free national telephone service offered by Crohn’s and Colitis Australia that provides support, information, counselling and referrals for people living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The helpline provides access to an experienced volunteer counsellor between 9am and 5pm (EST), Monday to Friday for emotional support and coping strategies.
Please note that the IBD Helpline is not a 24/7 Crisis Line. If there is an emergency, please contact the nearest hospital or local GP.
When you have IBD, you may sometimes experience an urgent need to use the toilet. The Can’t Wait card is issued to members of Crohn’s and Colitis Australia who have been diagnosed with IBD. The card gives the bearer priority access to a toilet, which can be of great help in those urgent moments.
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) website provides information on both Crohn’s disease and colitis. It also provides free educational webcasts on a variety of topics from disease management to diet and an e-Newsletter for updates on disease research and fundraising events. A ‘disease tracker’ tool is also available to help persons with IBD track their symptoms, monitor their overall wellbeing and stay on top of their treatment.
The Crohn’s & Colitis UK (the working name for the National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, NACC) website provides information and support, and offers membership to those living with colitis and Crohn’s disease, their families and healthcare professionals. The website also encourages sharing of experiences.
The Dieticians Association of Australia website provides a listing of accredited practising dieticians, who have the qualifications and skills to assist people to manage a range of health conditions including inflammatory bowel disease. These dieticians can assess an individual’s nutritional needs and develop a personalised eating plan. Patients can search for a dietician by geographical location and by language.
1800 812 942
GI Monitor is available from the WellApps website (download for iPhones and Android phones or log on and use through the website). This is a symptom logging application or ‘app’ for patients with IBD. Data such as meals, pain levels, medication and bowel movements can be entered by patients and collated into easy-to-read reports to be discussed with healthcare professionals.
The Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) is the chief advocacy group for healthcare professionals and scientists working in the fields of gastroenterology and hepatology. It provides both professional and consumer information and offers a ‘Find a Gastroenterologist’ service for GPs, as well as the general public. The ‘Members Area’ for healthcare professionals provides access to the Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology and Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.
The Get Healthy service provides information and ongoing health coaching, helping participants improve their diet, become more active and maintain a healthy body weight. Visitors will need to register to receive 10 free telephone-based health-coaching calls over 6 months from a university-qualified health professional. Please note that this service is only available to persons over 18 years of age living in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.
1300 806 258
The IBD video by Dr Mike Evans and the Canadian Gastroenterology Society, highlights the difference between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the symptoms, and the different ways to manage and treat the conditions. This resource is provided for general information and does not replace the advice given by your doctor or healthcare team.
Job Access Advisors provides workplace adjustments and solutions for those with IBD. It also gives information regarding an employment assistance fund, which can provide financial assistance for work-related modifications.
1800 464 800
Quitline is a telephone support and coaching service that can increase a person’s chances of quitting smoking. Callers can request a ‘Quit Pack’ to be sent to them free-of-charge. Quitline’s advisors can also offer advice on the range of quitting products available, how effective each product is, and practical advice on how to use these products.
13 78 48
The Australian Council of Stoma Associations (ACSA) website provides links to information for patients planning to undergo ‘ostomy’ surgery (e.g. colostomy, ileostomy etc.) and those who have undergone ‘ostomy’ surgery. This website also provides useful information on travelling overseas following ‘ostomy’ surgery.
A not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising funds for research into IBD.
The Gut Foundation website provides information on gut health, symptoms of gastrointestinal disease and methods employed by healthcare professionals to investigate disease. Visitors can ‘shop’ online for copies of pamphlets regarding dietary advice or a range of gastrointestinal diseases.
The ‘J-Pouch’ operation (ileoanal anastomosis) is a surgical treatment option for people with ulcerative colitis. The J-Pouch Group website provides support to those who are planning to undergo, or have undergone, the J-Pouch operation. A series of 3D illustrations can help assist visitors in understanding the surgical procedure. Dietary guidelines available on the website can assist those with a J-Pouch maintain their health and vitality following ileoanal surgery.
Many people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis stay at home during a disease flare up, due to the fear of not being able to access a public toilet. The National Public Toilet Map website allows visitors to browse for or search for public toilets across Australia. The ‘Trip Planner’ function allows visitors to identify toilet stops for a long car journey (for example, between Sydney and Melbourne). A National Public Toilet Map app is available for the iPhone.
Continence helpline 1800 33 00 66
The Travel Clinics website offers a pre-travel ‘check list’, country-specific vaccination advice and fact sheets that can help you plan a holiday or business trip. The website also includes a directory of all Travel Clinics in Australia. Before you travel, make an appointment at your nearest Travel Clinic and discuss with a doctor how best to manage IBD while overseas.
1300 369 359
MindOverGut provides information and free online evidence-based psychological programs developed by Australian Psychogasteronology expert Dr Simon Knowles. This site also contains a list of other psychology-orientated clinicians with an interest in IBD.
Tame your Gut is a 10-week program of cognit behavioural therapy (CBT) specially developed for people living with IBD by Australian researchers and clinicians.