Raising Awareness

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Awareness raising is a key activity of the organisation.

ME/CFS is gradually becoming more familiar to the general public, but we all know that there’s still not enough people who know about the condition or the profound effect it has on those who are affected by it.

We can raise awareness all year round, but each year International Awareness Day occurs on 12th May and is a perfect opportunity to focus as much attention as possible on the condition.
 
In 2014, we are celebrating Awareness Week – Sunday 11th May to Saturday 17th May.  Here are some suggestions and tools for you to raise awareness amongst your network of friends, family and colleagues.
 
To start with, here are some tips for approaching the media.
 
And you can always be ME Aware
 
Or tell people about ME - in one page
 
 
 

High Tea for ME

Join us at the Melbourne Town Hall on 11th May for our inaugural “High Tea for ME”.  Everyone is welcome, tickets can be purchased at the website.  Please share the event with your networks and encourage as many people as possible to attend.
 
We'd like everyone to be able to participate in the High Tea for ME event, but we recognize that there’s lots of reasons why people can’t make it to the Melbourne Town Hall.  So if you can’t make the event, maybe you could run your own High Tea at your workplace or school and raise some awareness and some funds for ME/CFS, by making it a gold coin donation event. 
 
 
Have a look at this page for some ways you can CREATE YOUR OWN High Tea for ME.  These suggestions are designed to raise awareness wherever you are in Australia (or the world!), so if you can't get to Melbourne have a look and see if you find any inspiration.

 

Light up the Night

An initiative from the people at "May 12th Awareness", the challenge is to light up as many buildings in your country as possible in BLUE.  This includes public buildings, but also private residences.  Details can be found on this facebook page (you don't have to be on facebook to read the information).
 
 

 

Go Blue for ME

A great way to attract attention and start a conversation, is to “Go Blue for ME”.  We’ve put some ideas on our pinterest page for you, but you can definitely come up with your own.  Combine a blue outfit with a High Tea at your workplace or a stall at your school and you’ll be getting people talking about ME/CFS in no time.
 
Some ideas to go blue:
  • Hold a gold-coin donation High Tea at your workplace – and theme it in blue!
  • Colour your hair blue or wear a blue wig for Awareness Week and ask people to sponsor you
  • Wear a blue shirt/ scarf/ vest 
  • Paint your face or nails blue 
  • More ideas on our pinterest page
Whatever you do, remember to take photos and send them to us so that we can celebrate with you!

 If you're stuck for ways to 'Go Blue for M.E.' perhaps you could make a donation directly to ME/CFS Australia (Vic Tas NT). Donate Now.

 

 

Promotional Items for purchase

 
Wristbands $2 + postage
Blue ribbons $2 + postage
Metallic Blue Pens $3 + postage

 


 


 

 

At your workplace

Raising awareness in the workplace is very effective for getting the message out there.  Some workplaces have rules around what can and can’t be displayed, so remember to check in to make sure these ideas are OK:
  • Put up a poster and some information in the tea room
  • Put up a poster and some information at your desk/workstation
  • Put some information at reception for staff and visitors to read
  • Hold a High Tea during the week and ask for a gold coin donation to raise funds for ME/CFS
 
Below are some resources that you might want to use to get the message across in the workplace:

Individual poster images

  • Six posters - Low resolution versions
  • "I was told my ME/CFS symptoms were all in my head." (Low Res only 93kb)
  • "My daughter missed three years of school; she couldn't read, write or do sums. Just getting to school completely exhausted her." (High Res 15.6mb; Low Res 85kb)
  • "I'm not able to play footy anymore without crashing in bed for two days after." (High Res 40.1mb; Low Res 114kb)
  • "Having severe ME/CFS means I can't work, use a computer or hang out with my mates." (High Res 44.1mb; Low Res 88kb)
  • "My family and friends don't understand why I can't do the things I used to do before I got ME/CFS." (High Res 24.7mb; Low Res 84kb)
  • "Having ME/CFS meant I had to give up my career." (High Res 9.7mb; Low Res 74kb)

 

At your local Community Centre or Library

These are perfect places to get information about the condition out to lots of people.
Here are some resources that you might want to use if the Centre/Library would like a display:
 
 
 
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At your school

Young people are not immune to ME/CFS and raising awareness in schools so that both teachers and students are aware of the condition, is vital:
 
 
 

 

Your GP

Ensuring your GP is aware of the condition, is vital to ensuring proper care of people affected by ME/CFS.  These resources are some of the key information GP’s need:

 

Everyday Hero

Another fantastic way to raise awareness (an much needed funds for ME/CFS Australia (Vic,Tas,NT), is to become an Everyday Hero.
 
Everyday Heroes are individuals (or groups of people) who set themselves a task and ask their networks to support them to achieve that task.

Some wonderful heroes have raised over $1000 for the Society over the past year.

 

Spread the word on Social Media

We’ll be posting information on our facebook, twitter and pinterest pages, so please like/share, retweet and repin!  Make sure you post about your own events and let us know so that we can share your stories too.  
 
You might want to join in the Thunderclap that Action for ME in the UK are organising.  Read all about it and sign up to participate.  It's a pretty amazing idea!