18 new local support groups for people living with migraine have been launched by Migraine Australia, just in time for the start of Migraine Awareness Month in June.
Migraine Australia runs a number of support groups, mostly on Facebook. The Migraine Warrior Support Network was launched last year and consists of a number of local groups which provide peer support online as well as regular in-person meetups. The addition of the 16 new groups doubles the reach of the Migraine Warrior Support Network, providing local support to thousands of people.
Migraine is a complex genetic neurological disorder, and the biggest cause of disability in people under 50. Deloitte Access Economics calculated that migraine costs the Australian economy over $35 billion a year. It affects 4.9 million Australians – 1 in 3 women, and 1 in 10 men. The intense stigma experienced by people who live with migraine, mostly due to the common misunderstanding that migraine is ‘just a headache’, can often be more disabling and limiting than the physical symptoms.
Founder of Migraine Australia, Dr Raphaella Kathryn Crosby, says the local groups are a really powerful tool to combat the isolation and loneliness many people who live with migraine experience.
“Many people with migraine rarely go out and are quite socially isolated because no one understands the unpredictability of life with migraine – except other people who live with migraine.
“Our local groups enable people to connect with others in their local area and provide real and direct peer support to each other,” Dr Crosby said.
The 18 new groups have been launched in time for Migraine Awareness Month 2021, which this year is focused on empowering people to take control of their own migraine journey.
“We’re getting Migraine Awareness Month off to a great start with the listing of a new migraine medication Emgality on the PBS, announced in the Budget, and this big expansion of our local support networks.
“We’re hoping there will be more good news on the new medication front with another new drug called Vyepti close to being approved by the TGA,” Dr Crosby said.
They join existing groups that cover the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Gold Coast, Fraser Coast, Hunter Valley, and Sunraysia areas. Further groups are planned for regional areas in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia to come online by September. There is also a national support group specifically for men with migraine, and a group for the friends and family who care for people with migraine. The support groups, like Migraine Australia, are all run by volunteers with no funding.
The 18 new groups cover:
New South Wales
- Central Coast
- Blue Mountains
- Wollongong and the Illawarra
- Mid-North Coast
- New England and North West
- Central West NSW
- Toowoomba and the Darling Downs
- Sunshine Coast
- Far North Queensland
- Goldfields and Esperance
- Hobart and Southern Tasmania
- Launceston and Northern Tasmania
- Darwin and the Top End
People living with migraine are urged to join their local group on Facebook, as well as the main national Migraine Australia Chat Group, and take part in Migraine Awareness Month this June by talking openly about their migraine with their family, friends, and coworkers.
More details are available from the Migraine Australia website www.migraine.org.au
Links to all the local support groups are available at www.migraine.org.au/warriornetwork
Raphaella Kathryn Crosby [email protected]
Please report on migraine using the right terminology!
Consult our language guide at www.migraine.org.au/language
More information about CGRP medications: www.migraine.org.au/cgrp
Deloitte Access Economics White Paper on Migraine in Australia: https://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/economics/articles/migraine-australia-whitepaper.html