There are a lot of fantastic events on the global calendar, some of which see people eating certain foods, doing strange things or wearing specific items of clothing to raise money for good causes. A lot of these events are beneficial in raising much-needed funds to aid development or cover the cost of medical treatments and facilities, whilst others attempt to boost awareness of certain conditions.
One recent example is Hearing Awareness Month, which took place in September. Championed by hearing care providerHidden Hearing, they offered 20,000 free hearing tests in an attempt to raise awareness of hearing loss and encourage anyone unsure of their hearing ability to seek help. Hearing loss in the UK affects one in six people in some way with varying degrees of impairment, but many can be treated using hearing aids or other medical treatments. The biggest hurdle is getting people to take that first step and to get their hearing tested.
Some of the things stopping people from being tested, or wearing a hearing aid, is the perception that they’re big and unsightly, whilst others have had experience of wearing the NHS versions in the past and found their hearing failed to improve. By trying to raise awareness of hearing problems, however, it might be the incentive people need to give the more modern, aesthetically pleasing digital versions a try.
Other awareness campaigns include World Aids Day – also recognised as Aids Awareness Month in different countries around the world – where people are encouraged to learn about AIDS and HIV to try to stop the spread of the disease; and Epilepsy Awareness Month which seeks to help people overcome the challenges created by epilepsy.
The question is, do these awareness months actually work? There are people all around the world who will recognise the dates and they might mention them on their social media accounts or buy some merchandise to contribute to the efforts of the organisations, but do they achieve their overall goals of boosting awareness and encouraging people to take action?
Many people feel that there are so many different awareness campaigns, it’s impossible for them all to be effective. However, if the campaigns encourage just one person to visit a specialist for a test or check-up, or change their lifestyle in one way, the campaign has worked. Making people aware of a condition or a treatment available is a huge step, and then it’s down to the individual to get themselves tested or ask for help and the longer these awareness campaigns are around, the larger they will become and the more people they will be able to reach.