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Wellness Tip: Raising Awareness About Migraines And Headaches

June is widely recognized as the true beginning and, to some, the real sweet spot of the summer. Memorial Day barbecue stains and sunburns have mostly faded, the stress of the school year is receding into the rear view of the mind, and the real heat in most places in the U.S. hasn’t set in quite yet.

June is also a month full of celebrations: Pride, D-Day, Juneteenth, and Father’s Day. These commemorative times are when Americans come together to celebrate a shared experience, remembrance, or hope.

What some may not know is that June is also National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month. Yes, that awful, day-slowing, nausea-inducing, sleep-disrupting plague upon the cerebellum has its own awareness month. Thank the heavens!

Headaches of some form affect nearly all Americans at one point in life. Raising awareness about preventative measures, treatment methods, and shared experiences can go a long way to helping innumerable headache sufferers.

Photo Courtesy Andrea Piacquadio

This June, the celebration’s theme is “Educate Yourself, Educate Others.” Coalition For Headache and Migraine Patients (CHAMP), a collective that encompasses numerous organizations seeking to raise awareness about the issue, is determined to do just that. 

The movement to recognize and galvanize headache and migraine sufferers goes back decades to the founding of the first National Headache Week by the National Headache Foundation in 1989.

In 2011, Awareness Week became Awareness Month with the adoption of the slogan “It’s More Than Just Headache.” In 2013, the month was officially renamed “National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month” to include all headache-related issues.

Photo Courtesy Andrea Piacquadio

The observance enumerates several days to recognize the many different types of people who suffer from neurological pain. On June 1, “Headaches At Work” highlighted the environmental factors surrounding one’s livelihood that can contribute to headaches and migraines.  June 6 commemorated veterans dealing with headache diseases. 

Other days include June 18, which brings awareness to how men can be differently adversely affected by headaches. Chronic migraine patients get their spotlight on June 29 as CHAMP seeks to amplify each individual group’s struggle and provide resources and solutions. 

While the cause is noble and awareness is important, some may wonder why there is such a focus on headaches and migraines in a country with so many other health issues.
The answer may be in the sheer magnitude of the number of affected people in the U.S. today.

Most people can identify with a gnawing headache from stress, too little sleep, or bright sunlight. However, more than 42 million people in America live with chronic migraines daily.

Add to this that there are fewer than 1,000 trained specialists in the country, and affordable and convenient access to a specialist can be difficult depending on a person’s location and economic situation.

Photo Courtesy Coalition for Headache and Migraine Patients 

So, raising awareness on how to prevent and treat headaches and migraines is paramount to help ensure a better quality of life for the tens of millions of people. That is why organizations like CHAMP are available and willing to help. 

A disease as common as headaches and migraines — the most common nervous system disorders — affects one in every five women and one in every 10 men. Easy access to education about preventative measures and treatments is of the utmost importance, which is why a commemorative month has become such a focus for many in the field.

Photo Courtesy Coalition for Headache and Migraine Patients

Ways to learn more about how to help yourself and someone you love or how to get involved in raising awareness can be found on the CHAMP website, partner websites, or socials. A quick and easy way to get there is to search the hashtag #MHAM to learn more about events, providers, and opportunities.

With more than 12% of the U.S. population suffering from some form of headache pain, migraine, or neurological discomfort, this is a cause worth coming together and celebrating. Thankfully, that’s what National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month was exactly created to do!

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