‘No NEAM Without ME’ Is Theme of Epilepsy Awareness Month
Participants encouraged to use #NEAM2022, #MyNEAMAction on social media
From sporting something purple to sharing graphics on social media, supporters are marking National Epilepsy Awareness Month (NEAM), observed each November to bring attention to epilepsy and its associated disorders, including Dravet syndrome.
There are 65 million people around the world who live with the central nervous system disorder, including 3.4 million in the U.S. During their lifetime, one in 10 will have a seizure, and one in 26 will develop epilepsy, according to the Epilepsy Foundation.
The foundation is offering several ways supporters can get involved in this year’s campaign, which is themed “There is no NEAM without ME.” Participants are asked to use hashtags #NEAM2022 and #MyNEAMAction on their social media platforms.
“We chose this theme because November is all about our community — YOU,” the organization states on an Awareness Month webpage. “Without your collaboration and support, we wouldn’t be able to build a seizure-safe nation. Together with you, we can raise awareness and funds, educate the general public about the epilepsies and seizures, and push for more research to improve outcomes for you.”
During November, the foundation is showcasing community members and partners who are using their personal narratives, abilities, and efforts to help those with epilepsy overcome day-to-day challenges.
To heighten awareness around NEAM, participants are encouraged to post a seizure first aid poster at work or school, and don purple, the color that represents epilepsy. They also can volunteer as an epilepsy awareness ambassador and register for seizure first aid training, which includes multiple online and on-demand course options.
Other ways to participate include joining a Walk to END EPILEPSY fundraiser, which seeks to raise at least $1.5 million for research, programming, and patient access to specialty care, along with sharing downloadable graphics on social media. Supporters are also encouraged to generate their own fundraising ideas, such as hosting a bake sale or game night, for which the organization can help with resources, tips, and tools.
Elsewhere, Cure Epilepsy is observing the month with its Say the Word #SayEpilepsy campaign, which aims to kickstart discussions about the condition. “We can’t fund research to find a cure for, raise awareness about, or fight the stigma against epilepsy if we don’t use the word,” the organization states on its campaign webpage.
Cure Epilepsy has posted shareable videos from patients, caregivers, and others who explain the importance of speaking up about the disease. Other Awareness Month supporters who have experience with epilepsy are encouraged to post videos on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
North Carolina has officially proclaimed November as Epilepsy Awareness Month, as has Michigan.