The National Fibromyalgia Association‘s mission is to assist people with fibromyalgia by promoting awareness of the condition. The association provides training and support for fibromyalgia support group leaders throughout the United States and produces informational material, including press releases, a digital magazine, and brochures.
The National Fibromyalgia Association supports causes that create awareness of fibromyalgia and the lives of those who have it.
The Foundation's History
The National Fibromyalgia Association was initially known as the National Fibromyalgia Awareness Campaign. It was founded in 1997 in California, the United States, by Lynne Matallana and Karen Lee Richards. The first significant project was a website called FMaware.org, after which the organization began publishing the Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine.
In 2006, the National Fibromyalgia Association hosted six conferences that featured expert researchers who presented their findings to attendees. Over 1,000 people attended one of the conferences, including people with fibromyalgia as well as health care professionals.
In 2007, the organization joined forces with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Institute of Johns Hopkins Nursing. The collaboration resulted in “The Fibromyalgia Circle of Care,” an initiative that takes place three times a year. The initiative helps healthcare providers to diagnose fibromyalgia and take care of those suffering from the condition.
Some of the National Fibromyalgia Association’s most significant projects are:
Assistance to Local Support Groups
The organization helps to establish and maintain local fibromyalgia support groups. It provides thousands of handouts and posters to the groups as well as referrals and national contacts. It conducts seminars, conferences, brochures, video and audio recordings, and a comprehensive website. It also offers one-on-one help to people with fibromyalgia through telephone and online assistance.
Fibromyalgia AWARE Magazine
For millions of people with fibromyalgia, finding reliable information about it is nearly as challenging as the condition! The National Fibromyalgia Association published the Fibromyalgia AWARE magazine between 2000 and 2012, and it was available as a subscription and in bookstores.
Health Focus, Inc. launched the next version of the magazine called The New! Fibromyalgia AWARE Magazine. It is a virtual magazine that offers helpful information and support for people with fibromyalgia. The magazine also includes an interactive component with videos, galleries, and the option to email the magazine directly.
The Annual Fibromyalgia Awareness Day
The National Fibromyalgia Association launched the Annual Fibromyalgia Awareness Day in 1999 to promote fibromyalgia awareness. On May 12 every year, local fibromyalgia groups use various activities, press releases, and local events to raise awareness. Elected officials and local groups use a different theme each year to create messages of understanding and hope.
Leaders Against Pain
Leaders Against Pain is a multi-faceted annual workshop for scholarship winners of fibromyalgia support groups. The program teaches leadership, media, and advocacy techniques to help leaders improve their efforts. As of 2022, over 320 people have participated in the program.