ME Awareness week 7-13 May 2018 – campaign season!
International ME Awareness day
began in 1993. American Tom Hennessey chose the birthdate of Florence Nightingale, as she was stricken by an ME-type illness in her 30s and was often bed-ridden during the rest of her life.
Blue Ribbon for ME
Awareness raising got a focus in the UK in 1995 with the start of BRAME (Blue Ribbon Awareness for the awareness of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis).
The colour Blue continued to feature as once a year people died their hair blue, wore blue clothes or lit up public buildings with blue lights.
Letter writing & the media
In the early days a small number of people were interviewed by the media for news features on May 12th and campaign organisers invited patients and carers to write letters to politician, health professionals and the media.
With the increasing popularity of social media many more people, including those who were housebound with ME were able to add blue ribbons, or twibbons to their social media pages. Thunderclaps became popular as a way for a single message to be mass-shared, flash mob-style. Some wrote blog posts (short for weblog) about their experiences of ME to be published on their own and other people’s blogs and Facebook pages.
No campaign takes place these days without a hashtag. A # is a strategy for linking posts and conversations on twitter on the same theme, wherever in the world they originate from.
As more and more people began to own mobile phones it became possible to join awareness raising campaigns by sharing photos of themselves and their friends e.g. Wear blue for ME
The biggest global campaign for ME to date encourages more people to get involved by inviting them to share photos, not of themselves, but of their shoes as a symbol of the Millions Missing out on normal lives through illness.
Combined with demonstrations, letter writing, petitions, etc. #MillionsMissing aims to raise the profile of the need for health equality.
Join an event near you on May 12th e.g. Cardiff, Bristol, Gloucester, Shrewsbury, Liverpool