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

Now that October has come to an end, I would like to highlight the health awareness days that were promoted throughout the month and provide resources for those who want to learn more about these campaigns. Health awareness days, or National Health Observances, are special times (days, weeks, or months) dedicated to raising awareness about important health topics. Addressing health awareness days is important because they are crucial in promoting education, early detection, prevention, reducing stigma, advocating for support and policy changes. They also foster community support and ultimately improving health outcomes for individuals and populations. Below is a list of the health awareness days of October and links to resources that talk about the campaigns more closely:

1. Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct. 1-7, 2023)

Each year, during the first month of October, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and other advocates nationwide raise awareness and work together to sponsor activities to educate the public about mental illness. They provide information on the warning signs and symptoms of many mental health conditions and access to support and education resources.  

Learn more about mental health | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

2. World Cerebral Palsy Day (Oct. 6th, 2023)

Starting in 2012, World Cerebral Palsy Day has been a global movement that aims to unite people living with cerebral palsy, their families, supporters, and organizations from across 100 countries. Their goal is to have a future where children and adults living with cerebral palsy have the same access, rights, and opportunities as anyone else in our society.  

World Cerebral Palsy Day

3. World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10th, 2023)

The campaign led by the World Health Organization (WHO) allows communities and people to unite behind the theme “Mental health is a universal right.” It aims to raise awareness, provide knowledge, and drive actions that protect and promote everyone’s mental health as a human right. It’s a day to take the first step, start conversations, and advocate for policies prioritizing mental health. 

To access resources and learn more about the campaign, click here.

4. Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Oct. 1-31, 2023)

As many of us know, in October, the National Breast Cancer Foundation campaigns to spread awareness about breast cancer and provides resources and support to over 1.7 million women in need. They offer information on the symptoms and stages of breast cancer, and they even provide resources on how to conduct self-exams. The National Breast Cancer Foundation desires to fill in the gaps in cancer care by helping women through early detection, education, and support services.

Our Impact – National Breast Cancer Foundation

5. Health Literacy Awareness Month (Oct. 1-31, 2023)

The Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA) dedicates October to recognizing and spreading awareness of health literacy. The institute collectively works together with partners to improve health literacy, which is defined as the degree to which individuals can understand, find, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others. In doing so, the IHA aims to create a more equitable world where everyone can access high-quality care and achieve positive health outcomes.

Health Literacy Month

Andrea Castellanos

Northeastern '25

Andrea Castellanos is currently studying Health Science and Business Administration with a concentration in Management and Consulting at Northeastern University. Her time at Northeastern has allowed her to pursue her interests in an interdisciplinary approach by offering education that bridges the clinical and administrative aspects of healthcare. She is originally from Arizona and spent the majority of her childhood traveling and visiting other countries such as Mexico, Spain, Germany, and France. When she is not in classes or working, she enjoys diving into the latest fashion and pop culture trends on social media. Her life hobbies include traveling, fashion, and food, and she looks forward to sharing her interests with you all!