Since we’re now into May, and today marks the beginning of M.E. Awareness Month, I thought I’d throw together a post featuring just some of the things you can do to show your support. Most of them are quick and easy, and won’t cost you a penny…
1) Have a scroll through #MEAwarenessMonth/#MEAwarenessDay/#PWME posts on social media (particularly on Twitter). It’s a quick and easy way to gain a glimpse into individuals’ stories, and how ME/CFS affects real people. Be sure to share an image of your shoes for #MillionsMissing on the 12th, M.E Awareness Day.
2) Watch Unrest: a Sundance Award-winning documentary created by M.E sufferer Jennifer O’Brea. It’s a 90-minute film that’s made waves in the community and marked a crucial turning point in the general public’s understanding of the condition. It’s available on UK Netflix, and you can also purchase and download the feature on various platforms by visiting the Unrest Website. There’s also a 30 minute documentary called M.E and Me currently live on BBC Newsbeat: watch the episode here.
3) Join in with ‘Go Blue For ME’, the ME Association’s campaign for this year’s M.E Awareness Week. The aim is to get more people than ever to ‘Go Blue’ in whatever way they can, to raise awareness of ME: snap an image and use the hashtag #GoBlueForME. You can find out more and check out some ideas to get you thinking on the M.E Association’s website.
4) My lovely friend Anna oversees the annual Blue Sunday tea party for M.E. Consider joining in with a Blue Sunday event, online or in person: tea and cake for a good cause! Find out more about this year’s event on Anna’s page.
5) You could have a read of some recent study findings, that are slowly building a strong evidence base for the immunological mechanisms involved in patients with ME/CFS. You can read Action For ME’s latest research round-up, by Emily Beardall, on their website.
6) Shameless self-promo here but please do like/share/spread the word about my social enterprise, Spoonie Survival Kits. It was my own experiences of living with M.E that led to the creation if the project, and to date we’ve raised nearly £4000 for various chronic illness charities. Up until 12/05/18, 50 per cent of sales money from sales of our blue Chronic Fatigue Survival Kits is being donated to M.E Support, and any orders placed during this time will also come with a free M.E Support Awareness Ribbon. We will also hopefully be running an Instagram photo challenge during M.E Awareness Week, the 7th-13th May, so be sure to keep an eye on our Instagram page. We’ve also recently announced the publication of our charity book, Dear Chronic Illness: the eBook is available to pre-order now [affiliate link].
7) Spread the word about other projects and enterprises run by people with lived experience of M.E/chronic illness: some of my favourites are Project Parent, BearHugs Gifts, Smile For ME, Charlotte Elizabeth, Jayne Tapp Design, Handmade By Holly, CFS Selfies, and Buzz and Bear. If you have any recommendations of your own, I’d love to hear them!
8) Message a friend with M.E, or any chronic illness really, and let them know that you’re thinking of them. Chronic illness can be incredibly isolating, and you’ll likely make their day. <3
These are just some of the ways you can get involved: my friend Char has recently published a great post including some donation/fundraising tips on Chronically Hopeful, and I’d love to hear any of your own suggestions too. Will you be joining in with M.E Awareness Month this year? However great or small, I’d love to hear what you’ll be getting up to!