For anyone who works in healthcare, it is always useful to be aware of any upcoming awareness days. Although specific dates may change a little, year on year, the below guide means we can see when they are coming up so we can start to plan for them.
1 – 31 January, Dry January
The aim of Dry January is to start a new conversation about alcohol and raise awareness about the effects of alcohol. The challenge is to go alcohol free for 31 days. It’s a chance to lose weight, feel better, save money and make a difference.
12- 18 January, National Obesity Awareness Week
Obesity is a major UK public health problem with 1 in 4 adults considered obese and current trends suggest this could exceed 50 per cent by 2050. National Obesity Awareness Week is about promoting how we as a country can eat healthier, be more active, improve our overall health, and get support if we need it.
1 – 31 March, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Ovarian cancer is a disease that can disrupt the normal function of the ovaries. When women are diagnosed in the early stages of ovarian cancer they have a 90% chance of surviving for more than five years but this reduces to 22% when diagnosed in the later stages. A greater level of awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer is key to earlier diagnosis and improving survival rates.
16 – 22 March, Brain Awareness Week
This awareness week unites the efforts of partner organisations worldwide in a celebration of the brain for people of all ages. Events include open days at neuroscience labs; exhibitions about the brain; lectures on brain-related topics; displays at libraries, community centres and classroom workshops.
11 March, No Smoking Day
Proud to be a Quitter presents quitting as something to be proud of, and ‘Quitters’ as people to be admired. Help to encourage as many smokers as possible to quit by organising your own event on the day. #nosmokingday
16 – 22 March, Nutrition and Hydration Week
This week highlights the importance of reinforcing and focusing energy, activity and engagement on nutrition and hydration as an important part of patient safety improvement.
1 – 30 April, Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
For 26 years, Bowel Cancer UK has been aiming to save lives and improve the quality of life for all those affected by bowel cancer.
7 April, World Health Day
World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1948. Each year a theme is selected for World Health Day that highlights a priority area of public health concern in the world.
20 April – 26 April, Allergy Awareness Week
Raising awareness of all allergic conditions (including food, respiratory, skin and children’s allergies), food intolerance and the plight of allergy sufferers.
1 – 31 May, National Walking Month
May is National Walking Month and Living Streets, the national charity that works to create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets, will be encouraging people to walk with their successful annual initiatives – Walk to Work Week and Walk to School Week. Through these events, they hope to show children and adults how easy, enjoyable and rewarding walking is and how it can lead to real changes in people’s habits and lifestyles.
4 – 10 May, Sun Awareness Week
Get involved in raising awareness across the UK by ordering free posters and leaflets from the Sun Awareness range.
11 – 17 May, Mental Health Awareness Week
Founded in 2001, Mental Health Week is a UK event supported by the Mental Health Foundation. The aim of this week is to educate the public about mental health issues and to promote better mental health.
31 May, World No Tobacco Day
Every year, on 31 May, WHO and partners everywhere mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide.
15 – 21 June, Men’s Health Week
Led by the Men’s Health Forum, the purpose of Men’s Health Week is to raise awareness of preventable health issues and encourage men and boys to seek professional advice for health related problems.
14 June, World Blood Donor Day
Every year, on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day. The event raises awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
September, Urology Awareness Month
With an ageing population and the effects of today’s lifestyle urology conditions, diseases and cancers are becoming more prevalent. This includes conditions such as incontinence, ED to cancers affecting the kidney, bladder and male reproductive organs. The Urology Foundation is spreading knowledge of urology health, breaking down the stigma associated with many of its conditions and persuading people to talk about these issues. For further information visit The Urology Foundation website.
September, National Blood Cancer Awareness Month
Supported by some of the UKs biggest blood cancer charities, including Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and Anthony Nolan, September is the month to raise awareness of how to improve treatments for blood cancer and increase the number of lives saved. There are many opportunities to fund raise or increase awareness using the #BloodCancerAwarenessMonth handle.
10 September, World Suicide Prevention Day
World Suicide Prevention Day promotes worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides. The sponsoring organisation, International Association for Suicide Prevention, the co-sponsor WHO and other partners, advocate for the prevention of suicidal behaviour, provision of adequate treatment and follow-up care for people who attempted suicide, as well as responsible reporting of suicides in the media.
14 – 20 September, Know Your Numbers! Week
Blood Pressure UK’s flagship blood pressure testing and awareness campaign encourages adults to know their blood pressure numbers and take the necessary action to reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure. This year around 250,000 free checks will be available across the UK.
14 – 20 September, Sexual Health Week
FPA provide a service which answers questions about sexual health for young people. They offer support to parents in how to eduate their children about sexual health, as well as campaigning for better sexual health services, and the right for all young people to have access to education regarding appropriate relationships and sex education.
21-27 September, National Eye Health Week
National Eye Health Week (NEHW) is about healthcare professionals joining forces to encourage more people to have regular sight tests and make lifestyle choices that benefit their vision and general wellbeing. NEHW raises awareness of how we can improve the UK’s eye health, contribute towards a reduction in avoidable blindness and enhance people’s everyday lives.
7 – 11 October, BackCare Awareness Week
The aim of the week-long event, which is organised by BackCare, the charity for healthier backs, is to raise awareness of the problems back pain can cause, as well as prevention and treatments.
10 October, World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day raises public awareness about mental health issues.
24 October, Make a Difference Day
Make a Difference Day, organised by Community Service Volunteers, provides people across the country with the opportunity to try out volunteering. Activities can be anything from creating a bus stop garden to teaching IT skills, renovating a homeless shelter or knitting blankets for cats and dogs in shelters.
1 – 30 November, Movember Men’s Health Awareness Month
During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.
5 November, National Stress Awareness Day (NSAD)
The aim is to develop greater understanding of stress nationwide and to offer access to the many proven coping strategies and sources of help available to individuals and organisations who want to reduce the harmful outcomes of excessive pressure.
1 December, World Aids Day
World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.