Celebrating Migraine Awareness

Did you know that June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month? That’s right. There is such a thing. Before there was an awareness month, there was National Headache Week, which started in 1989, initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The official first National Headache Week did not officially take place though until the week of March 1990. The Governor of Illinois was the one who made this proclamation for the state. It is celebrated in June because that year, 1990, was the 20th year that the National Headache Foundation had been around, and representatives in Illinois had deemed June 3-9th as the week to celebrate. They chose to stick with this week each year.

Strides in awareness

The first awareness week to host a theme was started in June 1998. The theme for that year was “Making Headway in Headache Relief,” according to the National Headache Foundation. Each year after that, including the present, there has always been a theme. There was a switch in 2011 to National Headache Awareness Month. Then, the big change came in 2013. The name was changed to National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. People were accepting and included all types of headache disorders. That is wonderful news for all who suffer from episodic migraine, cluster headaches, hemiplegic migraine, chronic migraine, ocular migraine, tension headaches, sinus headaches, and others.

We have a color!

Not only did the awareness for different types of headaches and advocacy improve, but now there was a recognized color. The purple ribbon became the official mark for those with migraine and other headache disorders in 2012. Several organizations were involved in deciding this, including the National Headache Foundation. A person who advocates for herself and others, Teri Roberts, was the one who initiated this for all of us with headache disease. She wanted to be able to wear something to show her support for this disease. I can understand that as I am one who likes t-shirts, pins, magnets, etc., to show others what I support. Thank you to all who helped bring the purple ribbon for headache disorders to light.

What’s on the calendar for today?

I love that as the years went on, things continued to improve to promote awareness in the headache community. A calendar was made in 2017 with certain days to remember and bring awareness to different people with headache conditions. One of my favorite days is June 6th, as I am a veteran who has migraine disease. Another day that was added was June 21st - the day to show solidarity to those with migraine. It is a day when everyone can put on sunglasses to show support. I will not have sunglasses on but will have my clip-ons on top of my transition glasses. There is even a day we celebrate all with chronic migraine - June 29th. Chronic migraine is tough to live with, but I am glad that these days and awareness things exist. I had never heard of any of these days, nor did I know of a purple ribbon for migraine awareness until now.

How will you show your support?

During the month of June especially, there is a lot that we all can do to help bring awareness about how migraines or chronic headaches affect us all. I, for one, have many things I will be doing on social media.

  • Change my frame online to something that states, “I have chronic migraine,” or “I support migraine awareness.”
  • Make weekly posts and share on all my social media facts about migraines.
  • Buy a t-shirt and wear it to help open conversations and bring awareness.
  • Find a purple migraine ribbon as a magnet for my car.
  • Wear my clip-on shades on top of my glasses on June 21st.
  • These are just some things that can be done to show support. I am interested to know. How will you show your support?

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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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