In observance of October 7 as Worldwide Amputee Awareness Day, Ossur, the Amputee Coalition and Johns Hopkins University announced that the three organizations will work together to create a new, nationwide program to help prosthetists address the emotional needs of people with limb loss. The program will launch later this year.
“While research has shown that a large number of people with limb loss experience depression or other forms of psychological distress, today’s standards of care often leave amputees’ mental health needs unaddressed,” Kendra Calhoun, president and chief executive officer of the Amputee Coalition stated in a press release.
The new emotional well-being initiative will provide training and educational resources to enable prosthetists to take a more active role in enhancing their patients’ emotional well-being and resilience. Concept testing to ensure the program’s feasibility and relevance took place during the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists earlier this year. Amputees and prosthetists who participated in focus groups agreed that mental health issues were a growing and often unrecognized need within the amputee community. Both groups also expressed strong support for the new initiative.
“The Amputee Coalition believes that comprehensive care of the individual is a team responsibility, including prosthetists and the person with limb loss,” Calhoun stated. “The Amputee Coalition is developing programs to improve the well-being of people with limb loss. This first phase will build the resources necessary to help connections to local resources, and the program should ultimately make significant positive contributions to amputee resiliency and care continuum. We are grateful to Ossur for supporting this important work.”
Clinicians from the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins University have begun developing the tools and training materials.
“For four decades, Ossur has been dedicated to helping people enjoy lives without limitations and we are pleased to be partnering with the Amputee Coalition and Johns Hopkins University in developing this new initiative,” Mahesh Mansukhani, president of Ossur Americas stated in the release. “We hope that this program will help raise awareness of this often overlooked issue, and directly support more prosthetists and their patients in pursuing emotional and mental health as well as physical wellness.”