10 simple ways to raise awareness

When I was a naïve and clueless teenager I wrote this stupid, cheesy poem about making a difference. It is so bad, I won’t even think about sharing it with you. However, I will tell you that it was written from a a heart full of passion to make my life matter, to count for something that made a true impact on the lives of others. At fifteen I had no idea the path my life would take. Thirty years later, I still have that passion. It is what drives me to push through my own challenges in order to share hope with all of you.

It’s been clear for many years now that the only way to break through the social stigma of migraine and increase research funding is to do it ourselves. Migraine-free people are not going to do it for us. We push through the pain for a lot of important reasons. Don’t we owe it to ourselves to push through for this reason, too?

June is Migraine & Headache Awareness Month. There will be a lot of activities in which you can participate. For the fourth consecutive year, the American Headache and Migraine Association (AHMA) is leading the charge with a wide variety of activities and challenges. The theme for 2015 is Inspiring Hope. Awareness month isn’t just for advocates and doctors. It’s for everyone.

If your life has been touched by migraine or other headache disorders in any way, let your voice be heard. Even if you can’t leave home, you can still make a difference. For those of you who struggle with chronic migraine, it might seem impossible to participate. However, it is important that your voice is heard. Of all the patients, stigma impacts chronic migraineurs more than those who only experience occasional attacks. It is important that we hear from you as much as possible.

  1. Wear purple and tell people why you are wearing it.
  2. Post a photo of yourself, wearing purple, on social media with a message about migraine awareness.
  3. Share the truth about your experience with at least one other person.
  4. “Like”, “share”, comment, or retweet the posts, articles, and tweets of others.
  5. Even if you can’t participate every day, try to accept at least one challenge as often as you are able. There will be the traditional blog post challenge as well as Twitter and photo challenges. You don’t have to be a writer or professional to participate.
  6. Make a donation to migraine research.
  7. Enter Runnin' for Research even if you can only participate virtually.
  8. Ask your doctor and clinic staff to participate by directing patients to the AHMA-sponsored activities.
  9. Make a date with a migraine buddy for coffee or lunch. Wear purple together and let the wait staff know that you are celebrating Migraine Awareness Month. Leave a generous tip with a purple ribbon or awareness bracelet.
  10. Invite your healthy friends and loved ones to spread the word on your behalf. They can wear purple clothes, a purple wristband, or a purple ribbon. When asked, they can share truthful migraine information in your honor.

Please pay it forward this year by finding at least one person who needs to know the truth about migraine. Share what you have learned, then ask them to pass it on, too.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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