May is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month, an annual campaign held each year in Australia to raise awareness about the impact of living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
While community awareness of these conditions, known collectively as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) has grown over the past decade, the stigma and embarrassment associated with bowel disease persist. IBD patients are often reluctant to speak out about their illness for fear of embarrassment and shame. As a result, no one really understands the impact this chronic disease can have, not only on physical health but also on mental wellbeing.
Throughout May, Crohn’s & Colitis Australia (CCA) will help raise awareness of IBD, encouraging Australians diagnosed with IBD to join a conversation about the challenges of this invisible disease.
This year we’ve got lots planned for educating the general public about the physical and mental impact of living with these conditions.
Read on to find out how you can take part in the Awareness Month.
Go purple on World IBD Day
Saturday May 19 is World IBD Day, a day dedicated for raising awareness for inflammatory bowel disease across the world. The day will see famous landmarks illuminated in purple across Australia to raise awareness about IBD. You can show your support for those living with IBD on this special day. All you have to do is wearing something purple – could be a wig or simply a purple ribbon. It’s all about starting the conversation about Crohn’s and colitis, and having fun while you do it. Find out about light-up sites in your State.
Spread the word
Help us ensure every Australian knows about the impact of living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis by sharing our educational and awareness messages through your social media profiles. If you are an IBD warrior, you can share your everyday story on social media using the campaign hashtag #LetsTalkIBD. It’s only with education in the general public that we can dispel myths about these chronic conditions and build understanding for people battling them day in and out.
Raise awareness and funds
You can raise awareness and funds during Awareness Month by planning a community fundraiser with your family, friends or colleagues. Any money raised helps in providing support programs, research, raising awareness and improving quality of care for people living with IBD. Get your fundraising pack by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Join our Facebook Q&A
We have invited Dr Miles Sparrow (IBD Gastroenterologist, The Alfred), Jessica Wood (Dietitian, The Alfred) and Dr George Alex (Paediatric Gastroenterologist, Royal Children’s Hospital) for a live Q & A on Facebook on Wednesday May 16 at 7 pm. This is your chance to participate in the live online event and ask any questions you have from the experts. You can also email your questions in advance to email@example.com with the email subject line: Facebook Q & A.
If you’d like to get this year’s posters and flyers, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacinta Parson, ABC Melbourne Radio Breakfast Presenter.