Migraine community rallies around advocacy, education and support for millions of people
Looking back on the past Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MHAM), we are so proud of how the community came out to champion advocacy, build community and raise awareness for this disabling disease. The community rallied together to show support for one another and take action. We remembered those we have lost to the pain of migraine and advocated for better access to care nationwide. Here’s how we all moved against migraine this June—and resolve to every day.
Elevating the patient voice is critical to raising awareness and empowering people living with migraine to speak up for themselves. We went beyond educating our community and their loved ones about migraine. For example, we focused on giving people the tools and means to actually have that conversation. In the past, we’ve published helpful prompts to start the conversation about migraine with friends and family and tools to explain migraine to your child. This month, we launched an Instagram story template. It’s a fun, easy way for people living with migraine to share their experiences with their wider network. You can still screenshot the template for your own use here. Tag us and we’ll repost you!
This is what it means to live with #migraine. Not everyone understands, but the migraine community sees you and believes in you.💜 Join the #MoveAgainstMigraine: https://t.co/qJzp1u7GV8 pic.twitter.com/rUsl2xt9o5
— American Migraine Foundation (@amfmigraine) June 4, 2021
Connecting doctors with patients
The foundation also hosted multiple events throughout the month to connect patients with providers in the migraine space. We hosted a Twitter Chat about migraine advocacy so that users could share their own migraine wins as well as what advocacy means to them. On Reddit, we gathered four headache specialists to answer any and all questions about migraine in one of our celebrated Ask me Anything events. Finally, we wrapped up MHAM with the inaugural Migraine State of the Union. During this event, American Migraine Foundation (AMF) and American Headache Society (AHS) leaders shared what they know about migraine research and treatment. They also talked about where we’re all headed as a community. What a way to end a phenomenal month!
Gathering to take action
If there’s anything MHAM demonstrated, it’s that we are stronger when we stand together. This MHAM, our community banded together to advocate for continued telemedicine access for people living with neurological diseases like migraine. We also sought better access to care for veterans and so much more. Notably, the AMF collaborated with partners in the migraine advocacy space to participate in the first Day of Action. During this event, constituents asked their representatives to support a House Resolution designating June 2021 as Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.
The community’s persistence paid off, and we closed out MHAM celebrating two wins. First, the House Appropriations Committee included $20 million to double the number of Headache Disorders Centers of Excellence from 14 to 28 nationally.
House Appropriations includes $20m in FY22 funding to expand VA #Headache Centers of Excellence to 28 sites!!
— Robert Shapiro (@headachedoc) June 30, 2021
And then the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ruled to cover home use oxygen therapy for the acute treatment of cluster headache attacks. This was the result of more than a decade of advocacy at all levels. So it represented a big win for the cluster headache community.
— American Migraine Foundation (@amfmigraine) July 3, 2021
We all live with migraine even when we aren’t having an attack. Similarly, our advocacy doesn’t stop now that MHAM is over and July is here. Please continue sharing doctor-verified resources about migraine and telling your migraine story to affect change, even when it’s difficult. We’ll continue to meet you where you’re at and provide you with a community and doctor-verified information on our website as well as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Thank you, as always, for your dedication to the migraine community during MHAM and all year long.