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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bradley U chapter.

October!! Leaves are falling, the air is chilling and spooky season is starting. October is special for a lot of reasons, but a lot of the most important ones … are forgotten.

October is home to a plethora of awareness campaigns, but a lot of them are set to the side with the explosion of fake skeletons (and sometimes even nutcrackers) in our local retail stores. Breast Cancer Awareness is one of the better-known awareness campaigns this month, but there are a whole slew of other causes that are emphasized in October.

Here is a compiled list of what I could find to look out for and support this month. They are sorted into three general categories: health, culture and life. Hopefully, you learn something new, and maybe even find a cause close to your heart that you weren’t aware used October as their time of awareness.

Since there are so many, there is no guarantee that I have found them all, so I apologize for anything I have missed. The list is in no particular order, just the relative three sections.

Please also keep in mind: I have only listed campaigns that count October as their awareness month. Awareness weeks that are in October are not listed.

Health

Covering anything from the logistics of healthcare to physical and mental conditions to neurodivergency, this section is definitely the longest. I hope you learn something new!

Health Literacy

Our health is vital, and we need clear communication between the organizations we go to to keep us healthy. As silly as it may sound, communication keeps us healthy. Health Literacy Awareness Month is all about supporting understandable and open communication between doctor and patient, or similar relationships.

From the Health Literacy Month website:

  • “Personal health literacy is how well a person can find, understand and use information and services to make decisions about their own health and the health of others.”
  • “Organizational health literacy is how well organizations equitably help all people find, understand and use information and services to make decisions about their own health and others.”
Breast and Liver Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer so, understandably, it gets a lot of attention during October. You have probably heard about breast cancer awareness, but it doesn’t hurt to hear more! So many people are impacted by this disease.

October is also Liver Cancer Awareness Month! It may be talked about less, but that does not make it any less important. There are many types of liver cancer, and they are all a part of Liver Cancer Awareness Month.

Eczema

Ok, real quick disclaimer, I have some serious bias for this one. I have suffered from severe, chronic (and sometimes debilitating) eczema my entire life.

When most people think of eczema, they may think of a little rash on their nephew that went away with some Aquaphor. Trust me, I have heard lots of “have you tried ___? It worked for my 6-month-old ___”. The truth is that, while 90% of people grow out of eczema, plenty of individuals don’t. For those with moderate to severe eczema, the condition is more than just a rash; it consists of skin pain, constant itching, oozing, ointments, and higher rates of mental health issues.

The National Eczema Association is active on social media and usually has a fun activity for Eczema Awareness Month — this year is bingo!

ADHD

So, October is important for a lot of different cause … squirrel!!

ADHD isn’t just getting distracted by a squirrel, misplacing your keys or zoning out once in class. There is deep neurological reasoning for it. It is often misunderstood among the general population. Those who have the inattentive presentation or are assigned female at birth are more likely to go undiagnosed for years.

Depression and Mental Health Screening

Mental health is real. It is normal to have good and bad days. However, when it feels like there are almost no good days, and the bad days get extreme or overwhelming, it’s time to ask for help. Clinical and treatment resistant depression can’t always be fixed with those “7 self-care tips” you find on social media. It is important to de-stigmatize our struggles so that we can feel safe asking for what we need.

Mental health screenings are just a list of questions to gauge how you are doing mentally. These questionnaires are some of the easiest ways to identify mental illness early.

Dysautonomia

Dysautonomia is an umbrella term used to describe several different medical conditions that cause a malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System … which controls the ‘automatic’ functions of the body.” Those functions of the body are things like heart rate, digestion, pupil dilation, blood pressure and organ function.

Dysautonomia covers all of this, and there are many, many different conditions that fall under the umbrella; such as: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Neurocardiogenic Syncope (NCS), and even Diabetes.

Down and Rett Syndrome

Down syndrome affects people born with an extra chromosome. This can lead to distinct physical features and cognitive delays, but each person with Down syndrome is unique and symptoms vary.

Rett syndrome is a rare neurological disorder characterized by missed developmental milestones and near-constant repetitive hand movements while awake. Rett syndrome also causes cognitive delays.

Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities

Dyslexia is probably the most well-known learning disability, but it’s not the only one! Here is a short list with brief descriptions of what they impact from the Learning Disabilities Association of America.

  • Dyslexia: This affects one’s reading and language-based processing skills.
  • Dysgraphia: This affects handwriting and spelling.
  • Dyscalculia: This affects one’s understanding of numbers and learning math facts.
  • Oral/written language disorder: This affects one’s understanding of written or spoken language.
  • Nonverbal learning disabilities: This affects the understanding of nonverbal cues.
Pregnancy, Infant Loss, and SIDS

Pregnancy is wild, I mean, you grow an entire human inside of you!? Unfortunately, according to the Pregnancy after Loss Support website, “In the United States, 1 out of every 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage and 1 and every 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth.” Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is not included in this but is another October awareness campaign.

Selective Mutism

Selective mutism isn’t just giving the “silent treatment,” it’s a condition that causes individuals to “freeze up” and become incapable of speaking during specific situations. According to the Selective Mutism Association, “1 in 140 children are affected.”

Spina Bifida

Spina bifida is a birth condition characterized by a defect in the neural spinal tube. This leads to physical birth defects and ranges in severity. According to the Spina Bifida Association, “Approximately 166,000 individuals in the United States have spina bifida.”

Culture

History and heritage are so important to us as individuals. The following groups use October as a time for celebration. I’ll give you some basic facts and let you check out more information via the attached link.

Filipino-American History
  • Filipinos were the first documented Asian people to arrive in the United States.
  • A quarter of a million Filipino-Americans are veterans of World War II.
Italian-American Heritage
  • Italian ancestry is the fifth most present ancestry in the U.S.
LGBTQIA+ History
  • The first Pride flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978.
  • The Stonewall Inn is still open today in New York City and is a national monument in remembrance of The Stonewall Uprising.
  • In 2022, Justine Lindsay became the first openly transgender NFL cheerleader.

Life

This section covers serious and silly topics, enjoy this sort of “miscellaneous” category.

Domestic Violence

Violence inside of an established relationship (romantic, family, or otherwise) is domestic violence. This type of abuse can be incredibly isolating and manipulative. I encourage you to read more about how to support victims and survivors.

National Book Month

Reading, writing and literature are essential parts of life. Celebrating books and authors is what National Book Month is all about.

Cybersecurity

With the internet being such an integrated part of our lives, safety online is just as important as it is in person. National Cybersecurity Month is a great time to remind each other how to be safe online.

National Vegetarian Month

Eat your fruits and veggies! The vegetarian diet can be exceptionally healthy, whether it is for medical reasons, dietary restrictions or even just because animals are too cute to eat. October is the month to support your vegetarian friends.

World Animal & Habitat

The cow goes moo, duck goes quack, sheep goes bahhh! Okay, so those are all barnyard animals, but World Animal Day applies to all types and species. Support our animal friends and their habitats during October.

Squirrel Awareness Month

SQUIRRELS! These furry little creatures are balls of energy and, personally, light up my day everytime I see them. It may sound silly, but happy Squirrel Awareness Month!

Bullying Prevention

Bullying is not Okay! Growing up, it’s not uncommon to hear several talks about how bad bullying is and no-bullying policies. Bullying Awareness Month is designed to bring you back to those talks and remind those around you how not ok it is.

Socktober

Socktober is a movement to collect socks for homeless individuals. I encourage you to check out the Socktober movement and see how you can participate.

I hope you took a little something away from this list. Through my research, I know I became more well-informed about all the organizations to support this October!

Jessica (or Jessie) and is a contributor for Bradley U's Chapter of Her Campus and an Advertising and Public Relations major at Bradley University. She loves writing a good listicle. Jessie is on the Bradley Her Campus social media team, the Bradley Speech team, and is involved in various other extracurriculars. When not running around loving her busy schedule: she enjoys reading a good fiction book, biking, sudoku, creating fake websites and flyers, and doing various little craft projects. Jessie is passionate about the power of communication and loves to write - hopefully you like to read! :)