Sometimes being in a small place can enable a level of advocacy and engagement in political landscapes that is harder in large countries. This is absolutely the case for the Isle of Man, where the charity ME Support (IOM) has made major strides in improving the support available for people with ME.
For anyone who is unsure, the independent nation of the Isle of Man is located in the Irish Sea between Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales at the heart of the British Isles and is the only entire nation in the world to be recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is 33 miles long and 13 miles wide with a population of around 85,000. Although the island is a British Crown dependency it does not fall within the jurisdiction of, nor does it form part of, the United Kingdom.
As recently announced by the Isle of Man’s Minister for Health and Social Care: “Manx Care are developing an integrated and multidisciplinary ME, CFS and Long COVID service that will be able to support clinicians across primary care to make an early diagnosis and appropriate referral to the specialist service. That will be delivered by trained staff to understand the condition, who are able to undertake a comprehensive assessment and initiate targeted interventions.”
In response Craig Morris, Vice President of ME Support (IOM), noted the service could “be of interest around the UK and further afield.”
ME Support (IOM) originally established as a self-help group in 1988. It has grown over the years into a fully-fledged charity that provides various social and informational services to their members. On top of this they campaign for improved access to healthcare for sufferers and to raise funds for much needed bio-medical research into this as yet incurable and untreatable illness.
Over the past few years they have worked hard to engage government and joined forces with the Long Covid community on the Isle of Man. They’ve held a very successful workshop for employers exploring the often-underestimated threat of post-viral illnesses in the workplace. And their press work has led to coverage in newspapers and on radio.
A powerful & engaging video presentation shown to Members of Tynwald (the Isle of Man’s parliament) in July 2022 summarises their work and can be viewed here or below.
Our Alliance is excited to be working with ME Support (IOM), and looks forward to seeing how the successes of this organisation can contribute to the knowledge sharing and work we undertake globally.
Check out the new website from this impressive organisation: ME Support (IOM) website.
We are looking for more national ME organisations to join the World ME Alliance – find out more here.