This week is ME Awareness Week, though to be honest it’s been a bit confusing this year with the dates as almost all of the sites I’ve found seem to say that it starts on Wednesday 11th, which seems a slightly odd day for an awareness week to actually start, so I hope I’m not late as some places are saying the 9th, it’s a bit of an odd one this year. Throughout the week I am planning on doing an ME Awareness type post each day alongside my normal posts, these will probably mainly be short ones about various parts of ME that people might not know or resources that would be good to blog about, tweet or post anywhere to raise awareness.
The idea behind ME Awareness Week is to do things that helps to bring awareness to people with ME; what it is, what it feels like to have it or a week to emphasise fundraising. Different charities have different themes, though the general idea of wearing blue seems a popular one this year. It’s not very well publicised, at least in the past it hasn’t been, and this year it seems rather confusing with different dates on different charities but I think the fact that it’s days focussed on bringing awareness to something that a lot of people don’t know exists is a good thing, whether I have this on the right days or not. These posts will continue until Tuesday as that’s means I’ll have done five posts (I don’t post on weekends, though I might make an exception here) like I do in a normal week.
Today’s post, starting the ME Awareness Week, is going to be links to resources that might be good to share on social media or just interesting to read that are designed to help raise awareness of ME. These resources are all ones that I have found recently so they should all work, if not then please comment and I’ll see if I can find a replacement link if they’ve changed it slightly. Also these are only some of the links out there, I have looked through a lot and there don’t seem to be a lot of posts about MEAW that are for this year, I’ve found a lot of 2014 and 2013 ones even when including 2016 in the actual search. If you know of any other good resources then please comment. I have also found that Instagram can be pretty good for some poster or graphic style things which could be good for raising awareness.
Action For ME has May as a whole ME Awareness month, with the ME Awareness day being on the 11th. The theme for this is ‘Don’t ignore ME,’ and mainly focusses on the isolation of having ME. They have various links to things to do during the month and posters or leaflets you can print off and put around. I can’t seem to get a lot of the links to work but this is the page that includes links for things like making your own video or contacting your local MP about a meeting on Wednesday, though this would probably be too last minute now. The links to the leaflets and poster can be found here, the leaflet especially has some good information on it about what ME is.
AYME is one of the charities that says about ME Awareness Week, though I think that a lot of resources tend to be mainly for members it is free to join if you have ME. However they do have a leaflet that you can print off to put up somewhere, or maybe see if you can leave them in a public place, here, which explains what ME is and what it feels like. Not about awareness particularly but I found a leaflet on their site for parents of children with ME, if you know someone like this it might be a good one to send a link to, or share with others. I can’t find it on the website but the idea for this year’s MEAW is about understanding how it feels to have ME and is about sharing stories to understand how it feels as well as the actual medical definitions.
WAMES, a Welsh ME charity, has a page suggesting ways of getting involved and showing support that anyone can do, there is a list on this page but it includes things like wearing a blue ribbon or wearing blue and be prepared to explain why is asked, which are both things that don’t really require a lot of organisation or planning which is helpful as it’s actually ME Awareness Week now.
The ME Association is one of those that says the ME Awareness Week starts on the 9th but there is a list of things that they have planned for the week here. The ‘going blue’ that has been mentioned at the top of the page is about dressing in blue, there is a small poster style post on the idea here and some information on it here. It seems like this may be a theme that a lot of the ME charities are going for this year and it is something that can be done by people easily and with less organisation that things like organising a fundraiser.
Of course you can do any of these things the rest of the year too, especially printing off the leaflets and seeing if you can have them in a local doctor’s surgery or organising a fundraiser. There are quite a lot of ME charities out there so it can be a bit confusing choosing one to fundraise for, it depends on what you want them to focus on, which country or region you are in, or what age group you want the charity to support as there are some specifically for young people and others that only support adults, or some that support anyone.
I did do a week of posts last year as well, you can find the ones specifically done for MEAW 2015 here. I also do a weekly post (or try to) about ME and anything ME related like how it affects certain parts of my life or how I control it, or try to. You can find all of these posts here, though if you want to know about a certain topic then either use the search box or you can ask me about it. I can post a link to the post if I’ve done one, if not I’ll answer any questions or do a post in the future if you’d like a more in depth reply.
Another page I found which might be useful to people with ME, so I’m going to include it on all of these MEAW posts, is on the ME Support website where there is a list of links to organisations that provide support for ME. There are international organisations as well as those in the UK and, if you live in the UK, there are even links to very localised groups.