Throughout June as National Headache and Migraine Awareness Month (MHAM), the U.S. Pain Foundation and fellow patient organizations focused their efforts on educating patients and the public about the realities of life with headache diseases. (And even though it’s July, there are still a few opportunities to learn and take action!)

Launch of the INvisible Project: Migraine & Headache 4th Edition

The month kicked off with multiple launch parties for the newest edition of the INvisible Project, which highlights 10 patients and families coping with varying types of headache diseases ranging from cluster headache to new daily persistent headache. You can download the full PDF of the magazine or order print copies, free of charge, by visiting the INvisible Project website.

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Dennis distributing U.S. Pain materials.

Earlier this fall, longtime New Jersey ambassador Jeannette Rotondi and her husband, Dennis, coordinated with Rutgers University’s Behavior Health Center to share U.S. Pain Foundation materials and information during the center’s Wellness Month, which coincided with Pain Awareness Month. Dennis is a staff clinician at the center and has volunteered alongside Jeannette since she joined U.S. Pain.

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MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (Oct. 6, 2017)—Throughout the month of October, U.S. Pain Foundation is teaming up with Healthline on a campaign to bring awareness to invisible illness and raise money for a good cause. The request: share a photo or video that makes your chronic condition visible on social media with the #MakeItVisible hashtag. Make sure the post is public, not on private or friends-only settings.

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Throughout the month of October, U.S. Pain Foundation is teaming up with Healthline on a campaign to bring awareness to invisible illness. The request: share a photo or video that makes your chronic condition visible on Instagram with the #MakeItVisible hashtag. For every submission, Heathline will donate $5 to U.S. Pain Foundation.

“As more and more public figures are candidly discussing their invisible illnesses, now is the perfect time for the pain community to shine our light illnesses that seem hidden to outside world,” says vice president of U.S. Pain Foundation, Nicole Hemmenway. “Anytime we can make the invisible visible, we are not only improving patient care and creating societal awareness, but also providing newfound hope and support to pain warriors. We’re very grateful to Heathline for partnering with us on this project.”

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Happiness is defined as a mental and emotional state of well-being. This mental and emotional state may often be affected by the physical pain experienced by chronic pain warriors, which is why the U.S. Pain Foundation is challenging chronic pain warriors, caregivers, family, and friends to participate in June’s “What Makes You Happy?” social media photo challenge.

Each day, you will be challenged to find a particular piece of happiness in your life and post a related photo about it. Living with chronic pain is difficult and weighs on you both mentally and physically; however, the Happiness Challenge allows everyone to take a deeper look at their lives and see all of the wonderful, fulfilling gifts everyone has in their lives. One can always find happiness! Participants will also be eligible for special giveaways.

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Currently, 36 million Americans are living with migraine disease; four million of them have chronic migraine, meaning they have 15 or more attack days per month. There are many different ways you can help spread awareness and stop the stigma of living with migraine disease during Migraine & Headache Awareness Month this June.

“By getting involved in June, you can help so many people dealing with this misunderstood, debilitating condition,” says Katie Golden, a California pain ambassador who has migraine disease. “Every little bit helps.”

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If you’d like to get involved with U.S. Pain’s recognition of Migraine Awareness Month in June, please consider beginning the process now to obtain a proclamation in your state or town. Some government offices require several months of advanced notice. Here are the steps to take:

  1. In order to be considered as the State Migraine Awareness Month Leader for your region, you must first email Shaina Smith, director of state advocacy & alliance development, with the subject line “Migraine Awareness Month,” by April 30.
  2. If no one else has signed up prior to your request, you will be sent the official proclamation template to present to your governor. If someone has already signed up in your state, you will be encouraged to submit the request to your town/city government officials. Remember, the more exposure the proclamations receive at the local and state levels, the better!
  3. The template can then be emailed to your governor’s office through your state website. Contact requirements for towns and cities vary based on the municipality and its website capabilities. If a proclamation request email is not available, you may call your town leader’s office (mayor, first selectman, town council chair, etc.) or stop by his or her office and ask how to submit a proclamation for consideration. Shaina can provide support throughout the submission process.
  4. Once your state, city, or town has approved the request, you must again email Smith with the news and send her another email including a photo of the proclamation itself as soon as it is received. This is an essential part of the process that is necessary to highlight your accomplishment for the pain community on social media, websites, and at events.

By submitting the proclamation request to your state governor’s office and/or town officials, you are supporting the millions of Americans affected by migraine disease. We encourage you to get started today! If you have any questions, please contact Shaina.

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Multiple pain warriors represented U.S. Pain during two important events in February: Rare Disease Day on Feb. 28 and Headache on the Hill on Feb. 13 to 14.

Headache on the Hill

On Feb. 13 to 14, U.S. Pain Foundation Advocate Katie Golden attended Headache on the Hill with members of Congress voicing the importance of appropriating funds under the Comprehensive Addition Recovery Act (CARA). Golden spoke of the importance of fully funding pain research for the National Institutes of Health under CARA alongside other patient advocates, neurologists, headache specialists, and patient caregivers.

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