TOUCHED BY LYME: Good ideas for Lyme Awareness Month
Any month can be a good time to raise awareness of Lyme disease, but May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and offers special opportunities.
Now is the time to contact your local newspapers to interest them in doing an article about Lyme disease. Ideally, it would feature local people dealing with Lyme (you and your family, perhaps?), and include basic prevention information. If you have an active support group in your area, that might be a source of additional people for a reporter to interview. You can provide the reporter with background information from www.lymedisease.org, www.ilads.org, and www.lymediseaseassociation.org.
(Admittedly, this works better if you live in a place served by a smallish newspaper. It’s much harder to interest the likes of the Los Angeles Times or the Washington Post.)
Another possibility is a letter to the editor, encouraging people to learn how to protect themselves from ticks. Keep it short, and refer people to your favorite website. (Perhaps www.lymedisease.org?) Again, a greater chance of success with a smaller paper.
San Francisco Lyme activist Robin Krop has been cold-calling organizations that have newsletters and websites, asking if they’d be willing to provide Lyme disease information to their readers. Robin says she’s gotten a range of responses from her calls. “Some say yes and some say no. When they say yes, I ask them how many words they want.” She’s provided articles that range from 50 to 400 words.
Do you have access to a place to feature a Lyme disease awareness display? Perhaps your library, church, school, or community center?
The California Department of Public Health has kid-oriented Lyme education materials featuring Timothy Tickfinder and his dog Bull’s-eye. Those materials can be downloaded here:
Are you on Facebook? There are more than 5000 Facebook pages (personal, fan, & group) with the word “Lyme” in them. But with more than 400 million people on Facebook, there are still plenty of opportunities to help spread the word. A simple action would be to share your favorite Lyme links with your Facebook friends. (If you haven’t yet done so, you can also become a fan of CALDA at www.facebook.com/lymedisease.org and share that with your friends, too.)
The Lymenaide blog has a lot of ideas about how to “paint May Lyme green,” and Ribbons Across America is a project that started in Massachusetts, and asks people to hang green ribbons for Lyme awareness.
There’s a lot going on—but there’s still room for YOU to take action.
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