Action for ME is putting plans in place to raise awareness of M.E. throughout May, including M.E. Awareness Week (8th to 14th May) and M.E. Awareness Day (Thursday 12 May).
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) is a long-term fluctuating illness that causes symptoms affecting many body systems, more commonly the nervous and immune systems. Defined by the World Health Organisation as neurological, M.E. affects an estimated 250,000 people in the UK, and around 17 million people worldwide.
Not everyone will experience the exact same symptoms so it’s important not to compare someone who has M.E. to another person who has the illness.
People with M.E. can vary enormously in their experience of the illness, and also how long their symptoms last. Some make good progress and may recover, while others can remain ill for a number of years and may not get better.
- Severe and persistent fatigue or exhaustion most, or all of the time, is one of the main symptoms of M.E. This feels very different from ordinary tiredness
- Simple physical or mental activities, or combinations of activities, can leave people with M.E. feeling utterly debilitated
- Headache or migraine
- Abdominal pain (stomach or bowel problems)
- Short-term memory problems
- Dizziness on standing or sitting up
Action for ME are taking action so that people with M.E. feel less isolated by:
- Placing stories in the press, featuring people with M.E. talking about their experience of the illness, to help others understand its impact
- Producing a short film to share widely online, highlighting the isolation experienced by people with M.E., and asking viewers to take action
- Launching a social media campaign highlighting the practical steps that the friends, family and colleagues of people with M.E can take to reduce isolation
How can we help?
- Asking local library, doctor’s surgery or community centre to display our awareness-raising poster and/or leaflets
- following Action for ME on Twitter and Facebook and sharing our awareness-raising tweets/posts
- Sharing your story to help others understand the impact of M.E
- Organising your own event to raise awareness – and funds for charity
- Sign up, Shop and Raise FREE donations for Action for ME via Give as you Live – It’s easy as 123
Remember to use the hashtag #MEawarenessweek on Twitter to spread the word!