June is here and with it comes a collection of health observances that you can learn about and share with your community. Even if your community’s awareness month, week, or day falls on another part of the year – we hope you’ll join the WEGO Health Community in highlighting these health communities and the Health Activists that lead them!
First up is the fact that June is Men’s Health Month! This is a great opportunity for all health communities to zoom-in on how men are impacted by the condition or health focus in particular. It’s a good chance for us all to band together and encourage the men in our lives to be their healthiest and get involved in prevention, care, and best practices when it comes to daily health and more specific health conditions. Who are your favorite male Health Activists? Why not feature their work in your blog or community this month as a testament to the great work they are doing? As awesome Prostate Cancer Health Activist Darryl Mittledorf, LCSW, reminds us – this month it’s important that we keep in mind all of the men who are experiencing health concerns or conditions and may not be open and forthright with their experiences or have the support they need. Darryl says, “Gay men constitute approximately 7% of all cancer patients. And hardly more than 50% of all adult men are married. Men’s Health Month is a great time to remember that some men are facing health issues, isolated or alone, and can prosper with peer support.” How will you incorporate men and men’s health issues into your community this month?
Later this month on the 19th is an important day not only here in the US but worldwide as World Sickle Cell Day draws near. Sickle Cell Disease is a condition that affects many around the world and your community may have more in common with the SCD community than you thought. Why not learn about SCD and share a bit about it with your community? Health Activist and creator of Sickle Cell Warriors, Tosin Ola, tells us how important awareness is for those living with SCD, “This year the focus of Sickle Cell Warriors have been educating ourselves and then educating others. There are so many myths and misconceptions that surround sickle cell, and most of our discussions have revolved around debating and learning about these beliefs, where they come from, and if they are true or not.” What does SCD have in common with your community and how will you share more about SCD on June 19th?
On June 27th is National HIV Testing Day. While amazing advances have been made in the HIV/AIDS community, testing is still incredibly important to benefiting from these advances. Raising awareness for this day is important. HIV Health Activist and Executive Director of Volunteer Positive, Carlton Rounds, stresses the very individual nature of living with HIV: “Everyone copes with living with HIV in different ways. How we feel about living with the virus, the circumstances of its transmission, the social stigma, the losses connected to the experience; physical, personal, economic, emotional, professional, psychological, spiritual, political, and intellectual varies greatly from person to person. Though we share a common experience, the way each of us processes it is unique.” Will you discuss the importance of testing on the 27th?
And this Sunday, June 5th is National Cancer Survivor Day – a “celebration of life.” Why not take the opportunity to reach out to those you know online (and offline) who are living with or have survived cancer and tell them how important they are to you? Remember their struggle and how difficult their journey has been and share in their powerful achievement with them. Ask a survivor how they would like to celebrate Sunday and join them! If you can, try to read and share articles from survivors that don’t sugar-coat (or pinkify) the experience of cancer but get to the heart of the cause and community. How will you discuss National Cancer Survivor Day and how could this day influence your own health community?
We hope you will join us in learning as much as you can about these conditions and the communities that work every day to raise awareness and improve the lives of their members. Supporting your fellow Health Activists is a great way to expand your reach and work together to do big things for the online health community in general. Tell us how you’re celebrating or commemorating this June and we will be sure to feature you and your work! Let us know what you’ve learned and how you’ve share with your community!
Click here to check out our 13 Ways to Get Involved This June and check out our full Press Release here