Health Awareness Campaigns: do they work?
A quick search online will show you that there are tons of health awareness days, weeks and even whole months. These periods of time are supposed to be a focus for promoting awareness of a particular illness or disease.
Do they work? What do you think? Do you know what day, week or month of the year is for what disease? How does that impact on you?
I remember years ago that World Aids Day was a big thing, I remember everyone wearing red ribbons and there was a lot of activity and awareness at the time. It felt like that made a big impact, it felt like people listened – is that still the same today?
If you look online, most days of the year are devoted to something. Raising awareness of something. Is it too much? It’s such a hard balance I think, between bombarding people with information, an making sure that people have important facts and know what symptoms to look out for and so on.
Jade Goody’s death saw a surge in women going for smear tests, in fact, more women started attending for smear tests from the point it was announced she was terminally ill. These days many people feel that this has worn off and that the introduction of the HPV jab has bread complacency. After a surge in women attending for screening, this year figures dropped to a 20 year low!
What does it take for us to take care of ourselves?
From arthritis to every type of cancer you can think of, there is a day, week or month when ‘awareness’ is being raised. Many people working tirelessly to get important messages across to the public, to raise the profile, prevent were possible and support where necessary.
On top of that there are a number of events during the year allocated to a specific disease or illness and raising the profile and raising funds for research. Cancer awareness is a good example of this. We have The Race For Life for example, held at multiple venues each year. Cancer is something that touches the lives of so many people, it’s rare to find someone these days that hasn’t had an experience of this in their family or circle of friends. For more info on cancer awareness have a look online at how you can get involved and get the best information.
How do you think awareness messages should be delivered? Anyone remember the AIDS television adverts from the 80s? I certainly do. How do you think health awareness messages can be best communicated these days? How valuable do you think that set awareness days are?
I 100% feel that prevention is better than cure, but I worry that there are so many awareness days people become deaf to important, life-saving messages.