Opinion: October has no shortage of causes

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief

A colleague brought it to my attention last week that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recognizes a cause for nearly each day in October. While we all probably know about Breast Cancer Awareness Month and pink in October, we probably don't realize all the other causes to focus on this month. Here, I'll tell you.

October also recognizes:

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Eye Injury Prevention Month

Health Literacy Month

Home Eye Safety Month

International Walk to School Month

National Bullying Prevention Month

National Dental Hygiene Month

National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

National Medical Librarians Month

National Physical Therapy Month

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month

Those are some great causes. Actually, it appears there are 29 causes total in October recognized by HHS. There are 37 causes recognized in September, 36 in May, and April comes in 4th at 28. Let's stick to October, since we've already moved past those months.

Also recognized this month:

Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 2-8)

National Primary Care Week (October 2-6)

Walk and Bike to School Day (October 4)

National Depression Screening Day (October 6)

Bone and Joint Health Action Week (October 12-20)

Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day (October 13)

This week is actually International Infection Prevention Week (October 15-21), National Healthcare Quality Week (October 16-22), and National Health Education Week (October 16-20).

Moving on:

National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (October 15)

World Food Day (October 16)

World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day (October 19)

National Check Your Meds Day (October 21)

Respiratory Care Week (October 22-28)

International Stuttering Awareness Day (October 22)

Red Ribbon Week (October 23-31)


World Psoriasis Day (October 29)

Whew! I know what you're thinking. How do I remember all these causes? Don't stress. If you read through them you've already taken the first step towards caring. Congrats! Now remember that these causes don't end when their day, or week or month is through. It takes ongoing effort and support for us to move forward to address these things.

Now if you're on the more apathetic side of the spectrum there is also good news. November and December only have 19 National Health Observances to worry about combined. See the entire list for the year online at healthfinder.gov.