How to Participate in Migraine and Headache Awareness Month
June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. Here’s what you can do to get involved.
Headache specialists play a vital role in migraine advocacy and awareness efforts. The symptoms of migraine often cause patients living with the disease to withdraw from their daily lives.. Others may refrain from identifying themselves as a migraine patient, due to stigma surrounding the disease and a lack of compassion surrounding its symptoms. For these patients and so many more, we as healthcare professionals must continue to advocate on their behalf.
Spread the Word
By raising awareness, both within the medical community and on Capitol Hill, we continue to push against the structural stigma that ultimately impacts people living with migraine every day. Discussing your work with colleagues outside the field of headache increases the visibility of headache medicine. . It also serves to further legitimize the harsh realities of the disease. On a grander scale, lobbying your political representatives for increased migraine research funding helps push patient concerns to the forefront of the conversation, bringing us closer to finding a cure. Read more about the success of this year’s Headache on the Hill here.
Advocate for Patients
AHS members also play a significant therapeutic role in our patient’s ongoing treatment. For Amaal Starling, MD, FAHS, of the Phoenix, AZ Mayo Clinic, that means she is telling her patients that “I will never give up on you.” Those words can hold enormous power for patients who are desperate for new, more effective treatment options. With the disproportionate number of headache specialists to migraine patients, one of the most effective mechanisms for helping patients is by sharing accurate information. We encourage AHS members to share their resources with a vast patient community by hosting a Facebook Live event with the American Migraine Foundation.
The American Migraine Foundation is dedicated to not only improving the lives of those living with migraine, but also to fostering a patient-driven community centered on empathy and understanding. When you lend your time and knowledge to their cause, you help our 69,000-plus Facebook followers impacted by migraine.
Promote Mentorship and Research Efforts
It is a truly exciting time to be working in the field of headache medicine. Exciting initiatives like the Resident Education Program and the International Headache Academy are inspiring bright young minds to take interest in the specialty. Advocacy events like Headache on the Hill are bringing the concerns of people living with migraine straight to Congress. Our upcoming 60th Annual Scientific Meeting will soon give us more answers on the biological underpinnings of migraine and headache, leading to better treatment and care. Through the innovative research and commitment to mentorship displayed by all of our members, we are driving significant advancements that will eventually create better lives for those living with migraine.