With the start of spring, there comes a sense of renewal and rejuvenation, making it an ideal time to engage the public in discussions about health, wellness, and disease prevention.

From brain related conditions to bowel cancer, April plays host to several health awareness days and campaigns aimed at educating the public, promoting prevention, and supporting those living with health conditions.

Awareness days provide opportunities for education, advocacy, and fundraising — to support research, prevention, and treatment efforts. They’re hugely important to patients and their families; plus the medical practitioners, researchers, charities and organisations that live and breathe these conditions every day.

Find out what awareness days are coming up in 2024.

APRIL

The month of April is dedicated to a number of health conditions, including bowel cancer.

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is observed to raise awareness about bowel cancer, or colorectal cancer as it’s also known. It is one of the most common types of cancer in the UK, and efforts are made throughout the month to educate on symptoms, encourage early detection through screening programs, and promote healthy lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

Read our article: Shifting the stigma: Why we need more conversations on bowel cancer

Stress Awareness Month — Stress is a natural response to challenges or pressures in life, but prolonged or excessive stress can have adverse effects on physical and mental health, contributing to a range of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and cardiovascular disease. During Stress Awareness Month, organisations such as the Mental Health Foundation and Mind conduct campaigns to educate the public about stress, its impact on health and wellbeing, and strategies for managing stress effectively.

April Awareness Days

  • April 2: World Autism Awareness Day
  • April 7: World Health Day
  • April 10-16: Parkinson’s Awareness Week

MAY

  • Second week of May: Mental Health Awareness Week 
  • May 16th – May 22nd: Dementia Action Week
  • Third week of May: National Epilepsy Week
  • Last week of May: Deaf Awareness Week
  • May 31st: World No Tobacco Day

JUNE

  • Second week of June: Men’s Health Week
  • Second week of June: Diabetes Week
  • June 13th – June 19th: National Blood Week
  • June 6th – June 12th: Carers Week

JULY

  • July 28th: World Hepatitis Day
  • July 3rd – July 9th: Sarcoma Awareness Week

AUGUST

  • August 19th – 25th: National Eye Health Week (UK)

SEPTEMBER

  • September 21st: World Alzheimer’s Day
  • September 29th: World Heart Day
  • Last Wednesday in September: National Fitness Day

OCTOBER

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as well as the month of ‘Stoptober‘. Stoptober is a public health campaign that was launched by Public Health England in 2012 to encourage people to quit smoking for the entire month of October. The campaign still attracts thousands of participants each year.

It’s also National Cholesterol Month in the UK, which is organised by Heart UK, the country’s leading cholesterol charity, dedicated to raising awareness about cholesterol-related health issues and promoting cardiovascular health.

  • October 10th: World Mental Health Day

NOVEMBER

One of the most successful health awareness campaigns of recent years is ‘Movember’, where men around the world grow moustaches (and in some cases full beards!) throughout November to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention.

Other month-long awareness initiatives include:

Lung Cancer Awareness Month — Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide and a leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Despite its prevalence, lung cancer often carries a stigma associated with smoking, leading to misconceptions and delays in diagnosis and treatment for non-smokers and former smokers.

Mouth Cancer Action Month raises awareness about mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, and its risk factors, symptoms, and prevention strategies. The campaign aims to educate on the importance of early detection, promote lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of mouth cancer, and support individuals affected by the disease.

Mouth cancer refers to cancers that occur in the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, roof, and floor of the mouth, as well as the throat and tonsils. It is often associated with risk factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, and sun exposure.

DECEMBER

  • December 1: World AIDS Day

Some awareness days or weeks may vary slightly each year, and additional awareness campaigns may be organised by specific charities or organisations. Keep checking in on this page, as we’ll keep it updated with new campaigns as they arise.

JANUARY

Dry January (Throughout January): Dry January is a campaign organized by Alcohol Change UK, encouraging people to abstain from alcohol for the entire month of January. It aims to raise awareness of the health benefits of reducing alcohol consumption and to promote a healthier relationship with alcohol.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (Third week of January): Organized by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, Cervical Cancer Prevention Week aims to raise awareness of cervical cancer and the importance of cervical screening (smear tests) for early detection and prevention. The campaign highlights the symptoms of cervical cancer and encourages people to attend cervical screening appointments.

Blue Monday (Third Monday of January): While not strictly a health awareness day, Blue Monday is often associated with mental health awareness due to its designation as the “most depressing day of the year.” Organisations and individuals often use this day to raise awareness of mental health issues and promote self-care and support.

FEBRUARY

Time to Talk Day (First Thursday of February): Time to Talk Day is organized by Time to Change, a campaign to end mental health stigma and discrimination. It encourages conversations about mental health to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and support those struggling with mental health issues.

World Cancer Day (February 4th): World Cancer Day is a global initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to raise awareness of cancer, promote prevention, early detection, and treatment, and advocate for improved access to cancer care worldwide.

Heart Month (February): February is often recognized as Heart Month in the UK, focusing on raising awareness of heart health and cardiovascular diseases. Organizations like the British Heart Foundation may organise campaigns and events to promote heart-healthy lifestyles, raise funds for research, and provide support for those affected by heart conditions.

MARCH

The month of March is dedicated to a few health conditions and awareness campaigns.

Endometriosis Awareness Month shines a spotlight on a common yet often misunderstood condition that affects millions of women worldwide. Endometriosis is a chronic condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows outside the womb, causing pain, infertility, and other symptoms. We took a closer look at endometriosis in our International Women’s Day programme — watch it here.

Brain Tumour Awareness Month highlights the impact of brain tumours on individuals and their families. Brain tumours can affect people of all ages, and early detection and treatment are crucial for improving outcomes. Throughout the month of March, brain health charities and organisations seek to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of brain tumours, drive funding and research into better treatments, and provide support to those affected by the disease.

March is National Bed Month: Founded by The National Sleep Council, the initiative aims to promote the benefits of good sleep.

National Bed Month — organised by the National Bed Federation in the UK. This campaign aims to highlight the importance of getting a good night’s sleep for overall health and wellbeing.  

March Awareness Days

  • Second Thursday in March: World Kidney Day
  • March 20: World Oral Health Day 
  • March 21: World Down Syndrome Day