JointHealth™ express   September 5, 2014

What’s Happening This Arthritis Awareness Month?

September is Arthritis Awareness Month in Canada. Here’s how the arthritis community is celebrating.

In Canada, September is designated Arthritis Awareness Month. Each year at this time, the arthritis community rallies together to raise awareness of the over one hundred types of arthritis that affect 4.6 million Canadians. Here’s what’s happening this month along with information about how you can advance the cause and take part in the celebration.

Earlier this year, Arthritis Consumer Experts, created the Canada's Best Workplaces for Employees Living with Arthritis Program, which started with a national contest. Awards will be presented later this month to the Canadian companies that apply the best strategies and practices for creating an arthritis-friendly work environment. For more information about this project, please click here.

On Arthritis Broadcast Network (ABN), throughout the month of September, we will put the spotlight on people who have been making a difference in the arthritis world, including researchers, bloggers, and individuals living with the disease. These are our “Arthritis Superheroes”. Visit ABN often to follow this series and watch for breaking news and information about arthritis.

The Arthritis Society is celebrating Arthritis Awareness Month with a “Voices of Arthritis” video series featuring well-known Canadians from different walks of life telling their arthritis stories. Click here for more information.

Team Effort
In a joint effort, under the leadership of the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance (CAPA), between ACE, the Canadian Spondylitis Association, Arthritis Society - Patient Partners, the Canadian Rheumatology Association, and the Arthritis Alliance of Canada—along with input from over 730 stakeholders across Canada—updated the Arthritis Bill of Rights and renamed it the Arthritis Patient Charter. For more information about this project, please click here.

Arthritis in the News
Earlier this week, Cheryl Koehn, president and founder of Arthritis Consumer Experts was interviewed alongside Dr. Kam Shojania of the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada (ARC) on Breakfast Television in Vancouver. Click here to watch the interview.

How Can You Get Involved?
Each of us has the power to change arthritis—together, we can change the way arthritis is perceived by the public, portrayed in the media, and understood by government. People with arthritis, their family and friends, and the arthritis community are in a unique position to provide media, government, and healthcare decision-makers with the their personal experiences of arthritis.

But no one can do this alone. One or two voices may be easy to ignore, but speaking together we are powerful. The voice of arthritis—the voices of all of the people who live with the disease, or care about someone who does—is strong and getting stronger every day.

There are many ways you can help spread raise awareness on behalf of the 4.6 million Canadians who live with arthritis.

A simple way to get started is to learn all you can about arthritis and share that information, using social media, with your family, friends, acquaintances, your local news outlet, and your provincial level government official. The more you share, the more our community will be heard. We have all sorts of activities and announcements planned for Facebook and Twitter, so please visit our social media channels often. If you tweet, follow the hashtag #ArthritisAwareness.

Another way to raise awareness is to write letters to public officials and the media. For information on who to contact and how, please check out the “What you and do” section of the JointHealth™ website.

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For additional arthritis resources, please click here.