What Are Awareness Ribbons?
The use of various colored ribbons is designed to create public awareness to health, medical conditions, disability, and other issues. Awareness ribbons are defined as short pieces of colored ribbon folded into a loop, or representations of such, which are used in the United States, Canada, Australia, UK and other parts of the world as a way for wearers of the ribbon(s) to make a statement of support for a cause or issue.
The ribbon colour used for Fibromyalgia (FM) is purple, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is blue, for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) it is green, and yellow is for Gulf War Syndrome/Illness (GWS/GWI). In all cases, the ribbon colour is not unique to the cause but is used for other causes as well.
Why Wear An Awareness Ribbon?
We believe that all people should have a voice in the fight for medical, mental health, social and animal causes, and that awareness and advocacy are important tools to help others. Our ribbons show your love for friends or family living with an illness, a loved-one in whose memory you’re fighting, or for the millions of people worldwide struggling with mental health and social issues. Creating a community of love and support is one of the most meaningful ways Personalized Cause makes an impact on the lives of others.
It is fitting that the PURPLE ribbon has been adopted for fibromyalgia awareness. It has been used for many years to bring awareness to women’s issues and to a number of health issues. In Canada, over 80% of those suffering from fibromyalgia are female. This is the highest percent of any chronic condition.
The use of the BLUE ribbon for ME goes back to 1995 and BRAME (Blue Ribbon Awareness of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. As previously noted, they highlighted the May 12th International Awareness Day at a World Medical Conference on ME/CFS in 1995 and as a result were instrumental in the ME/CFS Awareness campaign being adopted internationally. The blue ribbon was worn by MPP’s in the Ontario legislature in 2003. A more recent attempt to raise awareness and the blue ribbon is being made through a virtual, blue ribbon campaign for ME (http://www.blueribboncampaignforme.org ).
GREEN ribbons have been adopted by those with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and those with Environmental sensitivity. As well as for other causes, this colour ribbon is also used for Environmental protection and for Lyme disease awareness.
People attach or wear YELLOW ribbon to support our troops who have been striving hard to keep our nation protected and raise awareness for the Gulf War Syndrome/Illness.
One MCS campaign, originating in Hawaii, in February 2010 with website aptly called the canary report, is using YELLOW to represent the canary.
- May 12th – History
- May 12th – Purpose
- May 12th – Florence Nightingale
- May 12th – Ribbons
- May 12th – Illumination
- May 12th – Proclamation