COPD: Raise Your Voice for COPD
November is National COPD Awareness Month
As part of National COPD Awareness Month, the COPD Learn More Breathe Better® program encourages Breathe Better Network members and all those interested in raising COPD awareness to host events, lead discussions, and conduct other outreach to help people across the country take the first step toward improving the lives of those with COPD.
While an estimated 15 million Americans suffer from COPD, several additional millions likely have COPD and don't even know it. But, with early diagnosis and treatment, people with COPD can improve their quality of life and begin to breathe a little easier.
Whether you are a large group or an individual, there is something we all can do to help those who may be affected by COPD. To assist you in your efforts, the COPD Learn More Breathe Better® program has developed the below Outreach Toolkit.
Feel free to use all or parts of the Outreach Toolkit featuring the following resources:
- Smart Steps Fact Sheet * (1.2 Mb) A new fact sheet about small first steps to take to raise awareness and diagnosis of COPD.
- Better Talk Means Better Treatment* (324 kb) An infographic with data on some of the communication barriers between providers and patients when it comes to talking about COPD.
- Get the Most from Your Office Visit* (250 kb) A fact sheet for those who think they may be suffering from COPD to help them make the most of their time with their health care provider.
- Talking with Your Patients about COPD* (275 kb) A fact sheet geared toward health care providers to help them start the conversation about COPD with their patients.
- A template Letter to the Editor that you can make your own with tips on how to place in your local print and/or online outlets.
- A customizable Press Release to help promote your activities to local media.
- State-by-state factsheets from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including local data on the prevalence of COPD. Click on the link to find out what COPD looks like in your area.
- Our animated Sounds of COPD Widget includes audio clips of some of the most recognizable symptoms of COPD. Help those who may be at risk begin to listen to their lungs by sharing this widget on your blog or Web site.
- COPD Learn More Breathe Better program fact sheets which contain important information about COPD symptoms, risk factors and how to get tested - as well as how to start that conversation with someone you love.
To raise awareness about COPD we all need to do our part. Across the country, Breathe Better Network members will be hosting gatherings during the month of November to facilitate conversations about COPD.
To begin to increase the dialogue on COPD in your community, consider some of these ideas now or all year around:
- If your group doesn't currently have an event or meeting planned, you can do something as simple as hosting an informal discussion on COPD at a local community center or even host a discussion in an online forum.
- If your group already has regular meetings, increase the dialogue by bringing a friend or family member that you think could be at risk.
- Set up a table to distribute important information on COPD outside events in your community. With the proper permissions, some of these locations could include your local library, shopping mall, church or community center; or at appropriate other community events such as community centers, churches or sporting events. Consider distributing information about COPD at your local Turkey Trot on or around Thanksgiving Day; hold a luncheon, a respiratory rally or a health fair/spirometry screening. Taking the conversation starters for COPD out of typical health care settings will increase exposure to loved ones and those at risk to spur discussions at home and with health care providers.
- Check out some of these event planning and outreach tips for additional ideas to help get you started.
Don't forget to register your event on the COPD Event Listing page and we will promote your activities via the program Web site, Facebook and Twitter pages!
*PDF files require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader application for viewing.