November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Maybe you’ve participated in spreading awareness in the past and are looking for new ideas. Maybe it’s your first year with T1D and you’re not sure where to start. Whatever your situation, here are some great ideas and resources for you to use online and in your community!
It doesn’t matter if you have one friend on social media or millions. You can make an impact. It doesn’t matter if you’re an influencer in your community or not. You can spread awareness about T1D.
Starting small online
You can do small things like changing your profile picture. There are several diabetes awareness campaigns you can use.
The one I use on my “Carb Counting Mama” Facebook profile picture is from the T1D Mod Squad. You can get their awareness ribbon here and add your own picture. (If it doesn’t work from your phone, you might have to try from a desktop computer).
Or, you can use one of the options from JDRF. You can create your “T1D footprint” here. It looks like this:
Scroll down a bit further on the same JDRF page and you’ll find the new campaign “T1D you Don’t see”.
You can also simply click on your Facebook profile picture and select “add frame”. Type in “T1D”, “JDRF”, or “Diabetes Awareness” to get several different type 1 diabetes awareness frames.
Ok, changing your profile picture is great, but you’re seeing all of these type 1 awareness posts popping up. Maybe you want to write something, but a post every day for the month of November seems a bit daunting.
Greater Than has you covered! They’ve created this awesome challenge, giving you topic ideas for each day of the month.
If you don’t want to write your own posts, you can share others. There are several pages that share “A Fact A Day” posts in November. Some of my favorites are T1D Mod Squad Open, D-Mom: The sweet life with a diabetic child, The Diabetic Journey, and of course my Carb Counting Mama page.
Some people don’t want to share on their personal profiles. They don’t want to bring attention to themselves, or, if they’re a parent of a T1 child, their child may not want them to share. That’s ok! You can still spread awareness without bringing attention to yourself.
If you don’t want to share personally, but you see a great post that you think would be informative to others, you can share it in a T1D facebook group. That way, you share it in a closed group full of other people who likely will want to re-share the post and but it doesn’t go on your personal profile.
Instead of drawing attention to yourself or your child, you can act as a catalyst by bringing the information to other people who will spread the information you found.
Online is fine, but what about your community?
There are simple things you can do at your work, at your child’s school, or with local businesses.
You can “go blue” on November 14th (World Diabetes Day).
What does it mean to “go blue”? November 14th is Dr. Frederick Banting’s birthday. He’s kind of a big deal in the T1D world, since, without his insulin discovery in 1921, there wouldn’t be a T1D world.
Prior to 1921, a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes was a death sentence. Now, as difficult as it is to manage, it’s treatable. That’s something to celebrate.
It’s simple. Talk to your boss, the principal, the local grocery store manager. See if they’re willing to do a “blue shirt day” on November 14th. Ask if they’d put up some posters about T1D and/ or send them out in emails to staff and students.
Here, I’ll get you started with a few posters about Signs and Symptoms of T1D, World Diabetes Day, and Common Misconceptions about T1D, that you can print off and use!
Other ways to “go blue”
Sometimes, November 14th lands on a weekend. Because of that, there’s an alternative. Some people “go blue” every Friday during the month of November.
Naturally, the simplest thing to do is wear a blue shirt. But it doesn’t stop there. Many people will wear a blue hat or headband, dye their hair blue, or paint their nails blue.
It’s not too late to start. It’s not too late to ask your community to participate in World Diabetes Day on the 14th.
And please don’t get discouraged. You may or may not get the response you’re hoping for. Even if you get very little feedback, even if you get no “likes” on your posts, people are reading them. People are paying attention.
It could be one of your posts that causes someone to get symptoms checked. You might stop someone from forwarding “natural cures”, telling diabetes jokes, or minimizing someone’s diagnosis.
I know you didn’t sign up for this, but you’re a T1D expert now. Share what you have learned with the world!
Act today to change tomorrow.
What do you do for Diabetes Awareness Month? Let us know in the comment section!!