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MSP backs campaign for better support for migraine sufferers

Lanarkshire -based MSP Monica Lennon is calling for better support for migraine sufferers.

The Scottish Labour politician has shared her own experience with the misunderstood condition as she pushes for better healthcare and support in the workplace for locals.

She is backing a campaign by The Migraine Trust who have published recommendations for improving healthcare for those affected by the neurological condition, which Ms Lennon says is “more than just a headache.”

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Migraines affect women two to three times more than men. And the former health spokesperson believes that employers, schools, colleges and universities need to be more ‘migraine-aware’ and have policies and procedures to support people.

Ms Lennon said: “Migraine is more than just a headache. It is one of the most disabling conditions in the world.

“Too many of my constituents are forced to fight for a correct diagnosis, wait several months to see a specialist or are unable to access medication the are eligible for.

MSP backs campaign for better support for migraine sufferers
Monica Lennon met with Rob Music to back the campaign for better support for migraine sufferers

“I am fortunate that my GP has a good understanding of migraine and has helped me better understand and manage the condition.

“It shouldn’t be down to luck. I’m delighted to be supporting Migraine Awareness Week and speaking out to help end the stigma.

“While migraine can affect anyone, women are more likely to be affected. It’s not unusual for women’s health issues to lack wider public awareness.

“Public information 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 diagnose and support patients living with migraine.

“The Scottish government needs to put investment and effort into making life with Migraine more bearable.”

The MSP held a meeting with the chief executive of The Migraine Trust to discuss what can be done within the Scottish Government to better support people suffering from the condition.

The Migraine Trust report makes 16 key recommendations, including a need to tackle stigma and better workplace support.

Ms Lennon also 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 – something the MSP says she has experienced in her own career.

Rob Music, chief executive of the Migraine Trust said: “Migraine is largely absent from NHS plans or local public health strategies, receives very little funding for research, and access to specialist care is patchy and inconsistent.

“This has to change. We are pleased that Monica Lennon MSP is supporting our work.”

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