Thanks to a resolution passed by the Utah PTA earlier this month, migraine and headache disease education will become standard across the state. The resolution included four points.
“The first and most important point is that it’s going to incorporate the education into all of the Utah state health classes,” said Elizabeth Henry Weyher, one of the founders of the Danielle Byron Henry Migraine Foundation, which is based in Salt Lake City.
“It’s also going to provide resources and educational materials to all of the schools. These materials are specialized for children, for parents, and for educators to educate all of these people about migraine disease. It will also provide health screenings in school for children with migraine, and most importantly, it will be forwarded to the national PTA for their consideration as well.”
Weyher said the passing of this resolution is especially important to her because of the way migraine disease has affected her life.
“My sister was only 17 when she passed away from migraine and it is central to our mission as a foundation to help young adults and children with migraine disease,” she said. “This resolution will give Utah schools all the tools they need to make it so these children can succeed in school.”
Utah is the first state to pass a resolution like this.
Amy Graham is the creative director for the Coalition for Headache and Migraine Patients, known as CHAMP. She’s hopeful that the national PTA will also pass the resolution.
“It’s an important issue,” Graham said. “When you look at the numbers of children who live with migraine and headache diseases, you know, 28% of adolescents have migraine, 10% of school-aged children have migraine, so it makes sense for the national PTA to be interested in a program like this.”
Graham listed two reasons that migraine disease education and screenings are important to have in schools: kids will miss less school once diagnosed, and it will curb the stigma around migraine disease.
“Migraine is highly stigmatized,” she said. “And without question, if we can teach a younger generation about it and that it’s not just a headache or you’re not just making this up, and, you know, it is really as bad as people say, we can change how the disease is seen.”