National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

What a terrible name for such a great campaign.

One thing that makes me sad is that their website has this posted:

Does mental illness count? YES! See more here.

Now, it makes me very happy that they’re including mental disorders, but it’s unfortunate that we still have to ask that question. Mental illness is a misnomer. In mental disorders, there are things going wrong with your brain. I read somewhere that the brain is important.

Please help spread the word about the awareness week!

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12 responses to “National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

  1. I will add a link to my blog. The awareness week is important, but the name is awful!

  2. I’m having a hard time getting past the FIVE fonts used in the ONE sentence at the top, and the Mr. Yuk toxic waste glowy halloween colors.

    I propose a Global and All Too Visible Bad Graphic Design Awareness Millenium.

  3. What an awful name and presentation. A touch of orange and it would have reminded me of Halloween

  4. spotted elephant

    The green! I knew something bothered me, but couldn’t put a finger on it. It’s the alien/Halloween scary green. Maybe next year they’ll do a better job.

  5. Ew.

    Sorry, I can’t post about that yet. I have to wait until the supportive chunk of my brain beats the aesthetic appreciation sense into submission. Right now I can’t get past its pained screaming.

  6. Okay, since we’re on a roll, there’s something else that bothers me about this poster (actually, everything does. There’s just not one example of decency in design in the whole thing).

    “WOW! Nearly 1 in 2 people in the U.S. have a chronic illness”

    WOW! An interjection starts a sentence right! WOW is for, well, the best Schoolhouse Rock ever, and sleazy ads trying to sell you pills for instant weight loss.

  7. manxome: I have to admit to being a little dubious about this campaign. It has the feel of astroturfing to it. It’s sponsored by “Rest Ministries HopeKeepers” which offers their “Wow! 2 for 1 subscription” to HopeKeepers Magazine. HopeKeepers Magazine is described as “A magazine just for you that offers a Christian perspective for this chronic illness journey.” Plus the website for this campaign has all kinds of things for sale. Their webring seems to be more about sites offering stuff for sale than offering support. And the blog of Lisa Copen, “founder and director of Rest Ministries and HopeKeepers for the chronically ill” seems to give at least tacit approval to James Dobson’s books about raising children.

    This is an imporant issue, one that I suffer with (sever lymphedema and CHF) and deserves to have much more attention, especially because for many of us these are also disabling conditions. But I’ve got to say that my skeptometer is reading in the red zone here.

    It’s certainly possible I’m way too jaded and distrustful of religious organizations trying to sell me something. It’s entirely possible that Rest Ministries is sincere and does real, positive work. Does anyone know anything about this organization?

  8. tng-Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhk! That’s what I get for not doing my homework. Oh (clutches forehead), maybe we can have our own Invisible Illness Awareness Week?

  9. Well, to be clear spotted-e… I want to be wrong. Like I said, important cause and something I personally relate to. There’s also an element of disablism involved in that people think if they can’t see your disability then you must not have one.

    So anyway, I want to be wrong, just color me skeptical for now (it’s a shade of ultraviolet doncha know).

    Starting our own Invisible Illness Awareness Week… Hmm. A whole week, I’m not sure that’s doable. A day maybe? Let me let that idea marinate for a while.

  10. All that, and, I get what they mean about “invisible illness,” but something about the combo of the 50’s garish color scheme and that phrasing is making me think in fact they are campaigning on behalf of that dastardly Invisible Person Syndrome.

    “goddam! i can see right through you! no, i mean i can SEE RIGHT THROUGH YOU!”

    wooOOOoooo

  11. neural:

    I have that same jaded distrust thing, which is why I didn’t go after the ministry aspect, but yeah. I saw all the promo materials for sale and I certainly didn’t miss the “ministries” part, but like you, did a pre-emptive backing off.

    An invisible illness day? Sure. Heck, who do I know with an illness that’s NOT invisible?

  12. Ah, well. You can’t please all the people all the time. As the founder of NICIAW and the designer of the campaign, it was just the theme for that week. It’s hard to come up with a new theme each year that grabs people’s attention. Sorry you all didn’t like it. My heart is in it, and yes, I am a Christian. Maybe you liked 2006’s campaign better “Living with Invisible Illness is a Roller Coaster! Help a Friend Hold on.”

    Needless to say, I am happy that nearly 100,000 people felt validated in their pain this year, meaning, that despite all the skepticism they feel from their friends, family and sometimes their doctors, at least they felt we understood– that you CAN look good and feel awful.

    YOU ASKED:
    Plus the website for this campaign has all kinds of things for sale.

    If anyone is interested, as a ministry we barely scrape by financially. I don’t make a dime of my 8 books (all the money goes back to pay for costs of things) and I love what I do. Instead of telling people they have “sin in their life” and that’s why they aren’t healed, as someone with rheumatoid arthritis, I understand what it’s like to live with a chronic illness and not be healed.
    I designed products people kept bugging me for: bumper stickers, brochures, tshirts, etc. I don’t have money to pay a designer to do all this for me, I just provide what people ask for. We may profit a buck here or there, but it is quickly gone.

    YOU ASKED:
    It’s entirely possible that Rest Ministries is sincere and does real, positive work. Does anyone know anything about this organization?

    ANSWER: see http://www.restministries.org for our video or http://www.restministries.org/admin-aboutus.htm for more details. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organiation. I began Rest Ministries in 1997 and run it out of my home during every available minute and burst of energy I have.

    YOU ASKED:
    And the blog of Lisa Copen, “founder and director of Rest Ministries and HopeKeepers for the chronically ill” seems to give at least tacit approval to James Dobson’s books about raising children.

    ANSWER: My mom read “Strong-willed child” while raising my sister. I’ve read it twice. I don’t agree with everything James Dobson says just like none of us agree with EVERYTHING anyone says, but I do consider it an honor to be mentioned in some illness articles on his Focus on the Family website. I have long-admired his ministry. Sorry if that scares anyone away!

    YOU SAID:
    All that, and, I get what they mean about “invisible illness,” but something about the combo of the 50’s garish color scheme and that phrasing is making me think in fact they are campaigning on behalf of that dastardly Invisible Person Syndrome.

    MY ANSWER:
    Just consider it the work of a non-professional designer… nothing was intended. 🙂

    YOU SAID:
    and I certainly didn’t miss the “ministries” part…

    MY ANSWER:
    Good, because we don’t want to try to hide it. If we can offer some encouragement and support, great. If you’d rather find it elsewhere, that’s fine too.

    Everyone has an opinion. Overall, I didn’t think the designs that year weren’t too bad for doing it all between midnight at 4 a.m. while my 3-year-old slept. You can’t say I’m not trying!

    Lisa Copen
    Founder
    National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
    http://www.invisibleillness.com

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