Treating Chronic Illness

"Self-management is seen as an integral, even central, part of the system of care provided to people with chronic diseases. Patient self-management … programmes are not simply about educating patients about their condition or giving them relevant information – they are based on developing patients' confidence and motivation to use their own skills, information and professional services to take effective control over life with a chronic condition."


A Proven Treatment

"Whether one is engaging in a health promoting activity such as exercise or is living with a chronic disease such as asthma, he or she is responsible for day to day management … One cannot not manage. If one decides not to engage in a healthful behavior or not to be active in managing a disease, this decision reflects a management style. Unless one is totally ignorant of healthful behaviors it is impossible not to manage one's health. The question is how one manages. The issue of self-management is especially important for those with chronic disease, where only the patient can be responsible for his or her day to day care over the length of the illness. For most of these people, self-management is a lifetime task."

Kate Lorig, DrPH and Halsted Holman, MD
Stanford University School of Medicine, 2000

Support A Few, Empower Hundreds

You make a significant difference in the lives of the people who live in our Supportive Housing sites all over San Francisco. Thanks to you, and other Friends of Conard House, 770 men and women live in safe, affordable housing with on-site mental health and human services.

With the Affordable Care Act, all residents now have access to medical care through a Primary Care doctor of their choice.

But having access and usingaccess are not the same.

An estimated half of our residents avoid, delay or refuse seeing a doctor out of fear, denial or confusion.

We have a goal to raise $80,000 to hire and train a team of 4 Peer Health Navigators to connect 370 Conard House residents to a Primary Care doctor by this time next year.   Peer Health Navigators will work directly with those residents whose barriers to health care, healing and recovery are most formidable. Peer Health Navigators will bring to Health Navigation the unique perspective, strengths and resilience of their own lived experience, empowering residents to seek and use the care they need.

We hope you will find it in your hearts to dig deep and give generously this Holiday Season.



About Conard House

For more than 50 years, Conard House has provided effective, community-based resources for San Francisco's vulnerable adults living with serious mental health issues. Every day, clients working with our skilled team find healthy pathways to recovery, and those resources — including a combination of counseling, treatment, programs and other services — in order to self-manage chronic medical and mental illnesses.

Each year, Conard House serves more than 1,600 adults by:

  • Creating welcoming, caring and empowering communities
  • Fostering personal insight into illness and recovery
  • Promoting long-term independent living; providing access to secure, well-maintained housing
  • Helping our clients understand and negotiate the public mental health and health systems of care
  • Restoring hope


A Client's Perspective

"If the community was more aware of what they're [people living with mental illness] going through, I think it would be better for us all and people would be more apt to help people with mental illness instead of laugh at them or ostracize them or distance themselves from them. It would be better for all [to] be inclusive for the mentally ill, instead of exclusive. I think we got a long way to go, but we've come a long way. …until everybody's included, we haven't gone far enough. If one person is left out, then we haven't gone far enough in helping the disabled like myself."

Client, 2008