This week sees the last day of September 2021. Where did nine months go? After everything that happened, are we more tolerant? Are we more accepting? I believe things have changed for the better. There’s definitely more openness to discuss subjects that a few years ago were still taboo. However, it’s never too much to raise awareness. Or learn about topics that aren’t common knowledge or simply visible. Like certain disabilities. World Ostomy Day will take place on October 2nd and this year’s moto is: “Ostomates’ Rights are Human Rights – anytime and anywhere!” So, in this week’s blog we’re getting involved in supporting Colostomy UK with their #StomaAware campaign.
What is a Stoma?
Colostomy UK created this great infographic as part of the #StomaAware 2021 campaign. You can download and share this infographic to help make others #StomaAware as well. You can also watch the Colostomy UK #StomaAware video explaining what is a stoma.
Why should I be #StomaAware?
As the infographic states “not all disabilities are visible”. Being #StomaAware is a step forward in stopping prejudice and discrimination. Raising awareness and learning about the condition can only lead to an improved experience for the ones already coping with the condition. Colostomy UK shared the stories below to better illustrate the importance to being stoma aware.
- Young mum’s heartfelt description of the challenges she faces using a colostomy bag
- Dad kicked out of Butlins pool because he has a colostomy bag
- The impact of negative press
- Model humiliated by conference centre staff who refused to let him use toilet when colostomy bag leaked
- Belfast City Airport security leaves passenger with stoma and colostomy bag feeling “humiliated”
Can I take part?
Yes – everyone can! And should. Colostomy UK have a printable available for download, which you can use to share the message on your own social media. Check some examples on their page. Don’t forget to use the #StomaAware!!
Additionally, if you’re an ostomate yourself, you can help Colostomy UK frame the Stoma Aware Strategy by responding to their short survey.
Where else can I find more information?
There is online literature you can access to learn more about the condition and the challenges ostomates face due to a lack of awareness among the general public. Colostomy UK have a page with requirements for accessible toilets to suit ostomate needs. This provides additional detail of what it’s like to live with a stoma.
Colostomy UK: https://www.colostomyuk.org/
If browsing online, then why not get the first-hand account from ostomates. There are a number of influencers across different social media platforms raising awareness on what it’s like to live with a Stoma and demystifying some misconceptions. Here’s a few to get you started:
Pouch By Pouch: https://www.instagram.com/pouch_by_pouch/
Amber Davies: https://www.instagram.com/ambersostomy/
Charlotte Amy Louise: https://www.tiktok.com/@charlotteamylouise
Mr. Colitisscrohnss: https://firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a nice week x
A massive thank you to Mike Archibald for taking the time to talk me through some aspects of the condition and where to further look for information.