Stroke Association Introduces Education Campaign

The National Stroke Association launched program to raise public awareness around stroke and its symptoms.

During May’s National Stroke Awareness Month, the National Stroke Association will be running a campaign to inform the general public about stroke.

“Studies show less than one-third of people in the U.S. can identify stroke signs and symptoms, so we felt it was really important to take that opportunity this year to educate the public about the importance of recognizing strokes and what to look for,” Director of Programs Anna Taylor said.

The campaign will feature a video—pushed out through the association’s various social media channels—made to educate the public by showing people on the streets answering questions about stroke.

“We were surprised by people’s responses, which ranged from no knowledge about stroke to some knowledge of the seriousness of stroke,” CEO Robyn Moore said in a statement. “The public is alarmingly uninformed about stroke, which can happen to anyone at any time. It’s vital that the public be aware of stroke’s symptoms and act fast to get someone experiencing a stroke to an emergency room.”

People can also learn how to help raise awareness of stroke through the idea generator tool, which suggests ways to get involved based on their answers to three simple questions. Easy suggestions include sending an e-card or changing a Facebook profile picture, while more involved recommendations suggest joining the association’s advocacy network or hosting a presentation (pre-made and packaged by the association) for a community.

“Our campaign gives people the tools to become informed and spread our message about stroke,” Moore said. “Even something as simple as posting on Facebook or sending one of our colorful Ecards about stroke risks to family members and friends will make a difference in getting everyone to wise up about the symptoms of stroke and prevention.”

Taylor said their campaign is especially important as so many myths and confusion exist around stroke, how common it is, and its symptoms; for example, many people think it only happens to older generations. “The heart of the campaign is to educate people on what to look for,” she said.

The reality is that stroke can happen to people of any age, affects someone in the U.S. every 40 seconds, and can to some extent be prevented.

“We also want to people to take notice in regards to risk factors for stroke that are controllable, because some of them are not controllable,” Taylor said. “But things like high blood pressure, carrying extra weight, not being physically active enough, eating a healthier diet—all those things really make a difference, and I think all of us can do better and take more notice and maybe help prevent a stroke.”

A video in the National Stroke Association's campaign relies on the man-on-the-street approach. (YouTube screenshot)

Alex Beall

By Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. MORE

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