As simple as some of the activities may seem during awareness months, small actions can still have a significant impact. After all, the point of awareness is to start a conversation, not necessarily solve the problem all at once.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Is Stroke Awareness Month?
- How Did Stroke Awareness Month Get Started?
- When Is Stroke Awareness Month?
- What Are the Colors or Symbols of Stroke Awareness Month?
- What Activities Can You Do For Stroke Awareness Month?
In this post, we’ll discuss Stroke Awareness Month. We’ll go over the history, activities, associated colors and symbols, as well as how you can raise awareness in your own circle.
What Is Stroke Awareness Month?
Stroke Awareness Month raises awareness of symptoms and therefore lowers incidences of strokes in the US. World Stroke Day is observed on October 29th every year.
How Did Stroke Awareness Month Get Started?
Stroke Awareness Month began in 1989 after President George HW Bush signed a Presidential Proclamation . In addition to catching symptoms and bringing awareness to risk factors, Stroke Awareness Month also supports survivors, caregivers, and families affected by strokes.
When Is Stroke Awareness Month?
National Stroke Awareness Month occurs annually each May and has since its inception in 1989. World Stroke Day occurs each year on October 29th.
What Are the Colors or Symbols of Stroke Awareness Month?
Like many heart and blood diseases, red ribbons symbolize stroke awareness.
What Activities Can You Do For Stroke Awareness Month?
Stroke Awareness month is honored nationally in the US. However, it’s easy to find smaller local events. Each year, you can follow along with the Stroke Awareness Month campaign and get updated in terms of what events are proposed.
However, if you want to take efforts into your own hands, you can also complete any of the activities below.
Spread the word
One of the most effective ways to help during Stroke Awareness Month is to spread the word. Not to mention, this is free and can take less than a minute of your time.
Share any official infographics or stats you come across with loved ones. You never know who that information might benefit at the right time. Furthermore, we all can use reminders to take care of ourselves and our loved ones.
Hold an event
Whether you’re a survivor, caregiver, or just someone who has a vested interest in public health, you can hold a Stroke Awareness Month event of your own. It doesn’t have to be lavish or complicated.
For example, you can recognize survivors in your area as well as their families. You could do this by inviting members of a social club, church group, or neighborhood to talk about stroke symptoms and prevention.
Another idea is to organize some healthy activities for everyone to do together. After all, healthy lifestyle habits can cut the frequency of strokes by up to 80%.
Have a bake sale
Organize a bake sale to raise stroke awareness. You can send proceeds to families you know have been affected by a stroke or donate to a stroke-specific cause.
Better yet, sell fruit cups or healthy treats at your bake sale instead. Every little positive effort can help. You may even choose to share healthy recipes with your customers to promote healthier eating or if you’re interested in nutrition advocacy.
Write thank you notes
Thank you notes are a cost-effective yet impactful way to make someone’s day and show appreciation. Write personal thank yous to doctors or staff who cared for you or one of your family members. Or, perhaps send general thank cards.
Bonus: Get your friends, neighbors, or family together to help make more cards! Then drop them off altogether.
Donate to a hospital
Donating to a hospital can be a reasonably simple activity with a significant impact. You can coordinate this effort over a few weekends or just an afternoon. It may help if you reach out to your local hospital to ask what items are safe to donate.
Otherwise, you can put together baskets of new items to send to hospital staff and patients. You may wish to also reach out to local businesses in your area (or even your employer) to see if they would like to partner or match donations. Here are some ideas for gifts for bedridden loved ones.
Make some inspirational art
If you’re creative, observe Stroke Awareness Month by creating art featuring quotes about recovering from a stroke. You can tag appropriate organizations if the artwork is shared on social media.
You can also donate your works of art to a care facility or clinic to display. You may choose one that has cared for you or a family member in the past.
Reach out to loved ones
If you know a loved one who has experienced a stroke or who has been directly affected by one, reach out to offer support. You can cook for them, write them letters, create art, or put together care packages.
Here are some tips for what to say to someone who has a sick family member.
Awareness Means Survival
Raising awareness is just one step in the larger effort to eradicate illnesses, diseases, and ailments like strokes. Nonetheless, they’re crucial. In fact, stroke as a cause of death fell by a third from 2001 to 2011, according to the CDC . That’s a big deal and can improve even further with more support.
- Preventing Stroke: Healthy Living. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/healthy_living.htm
- Stroke Awareness: What Are the Signs? Medicare.gov. https://www.medicare.gov/blog/stroke-awareness-month-2020
- World Stroke Day. American Stroke Association. https://www.stroke.org/en/about-the-american-stroke-association/world-stroke-day
- May is National Stroke Awareness Month: Learn the Signs. Columbia Neurological Surgery. https://www.columbianeurosurgery.org/news/may-national-stroke-awareness-month-learn-signs-lessen-effects/
- Trends in Emergency Department Visits for Ischemic Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack: United States, 2001–2011. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db194.htm