Monica Lennon MSP, herself a sufferer of Migraine, calls for better understanding of the impacts that the condition can have on a person’s ability to work, nothing that it disproportionately affects women (two to three times more prevalent than in men) and other historically disadvantaged population groups.
A report from Migraine Trust, released today (Monday 6th Sept), notes 16 key recommendations including a need to tackle the stigma associated with the condition which can lead to workplaces misunderstanding the impact on their employees’ working lives. Suggested ways to tackle this include public information campaigns and better advice for employers.
Monica noted that migraine is often dismissed or trivialised in wider society, popular culture and the media – if mentioned at all. People who live with migraine report that they are often made to feel that migraine is somehow their fault, and if they had managed themselves better by avoiding triggers they could have prevented the migraine attacks. She recognised that she had experienced this in her own career.
Monica said: “It’s not unusual for health issues which disproportionately affect women to lack wider public awareness. That especially the case when the woman who have to think twice about taking sick leave are the ones juggling lower family incomes. Public awareness campaigns are an important element of tackling any form of stigma, and we’ll see a real impact on people’s lives if GPs are trained to more effectively support patients with Migraine.”
Notes for editor
- Migraine affects 10 million people in the UK and over 780,000 people in Scotland.
- Migraine leads to 43 million lost workdays each year & 16,500 emergency admissions.
- Full report from Migraine Trust available here: https://migrainetrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Dismissed-for-too-long_Recommendations-to-improve-migraine-care-in-the-UK.pdf