Awareness Month 2019


Crohn’s & Colitis Australia plans to help #FlushTheStigma during May 2019 – Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month. Here’s how you can get involved as we explore the impact of inflammatory bowel disease on psychological wellbeing.

Spread the word!

Download a PDF of our 2019 Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Month posterGet your promo pack!

If you’d like a promo pack including printed versions of the poster, flyer and our awareness ribbons, please email us.          

Wellbeing Toolkit

Wellbeing ToolkitCrohn’s & Colitis Australia has compiled a wellbeing toolkit to help those living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis better manage their psychological wellbeing.

Click here to download your copy, which includes strategies and expert tips from Dr Simon Knowles and Associate Professor Antonina Mikocka-Walus.

Show your support for the IBD community by purchasing a Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Month ribbon. Ribbons are $3 each or a pack of 10 for $27, with proceeds supporting CCA’s work in creating a future where no one lives with or suffers from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Click here to purchase.

Shining a Light

On World IBD Day – Sunday 19 May 2019, landmarks and buildings around Australia will be illuminated purple – the international awareness colour for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Check out the full list of locations set to ‘Shine a Light’ this year.

Host a Fundraiser

Whether it’s a sausage sizzle, a morning tea in the workplace or something a little more unique, hosting a fundraiser is a great way to support CCA’s ongoing work to support the Crohn’s and colitis community. Learn more here.

Live Stream IBD Q&A on Facebook

After a successful pilot in 2018, CCA is once again planning a Facebook LIVE Q&A session during Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month in 2019. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more details as they become available.

Kids Fun Day

CCA is excited to announce that our first ever Kids Fun Day will be held at Wild Life Sydney Zoo this May! Get the details and register now!

Media release

Ahead of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month in May, research released by Crohn’s & Colitis Australia reveals that 1 in 2 Australians living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis experience psychological distress associated with these chronic illnesses.

Many people aren’t routinely assessed and lack access to services to support their physical and mental wellbeing. The survey found 50% of patients reported psychological distress, and 59% of patients agreed that having access to a mental health expert is an important part of managing their Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis collectively called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Yet, only 16% of patients reported being asked about their mental health by their doctor or nurse — and of those patients not asked, 56% indicated that they would have liked to have been.

Associate Professor Leanne Raven, Chief Executive of Crohn’s & Colitis Australia, says that anxiety and depression remain undiagnosed and unsupported in large numbers of patients with IBD.

“Most people have access to specialists for their physical health, such as gastroenterologist, but only 12% have a psychologist in their team and 11% are currently seeing a psychologist,” she explained.

“While Crohn’s and colitis are considered physical diseases, their mental impacts are significant but often left untreated. Our research shows 1 in 2 Australian’s living with Crohn’s or colitis experience significant psychological distress – only 15% of those surveyed were seeing a mental health clinician and because of the invisibility of the disease people around them often won’t realise.

“People who live with IBD often have no visible symptoms, but the conditions can prevent them from working or going out, keeping them socially isolated,” Assoc Prof Raven said.

“The stigma and misunderstanding around these conditions mean thousands of Crohn’s and colitis patients are suffering in silence. That’s why Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month is so important. It’s an opportunity to increase understanding of these diseases and their impacts.”

Crohn’s & Colitis Australia (CCA) reminds all those who have Crohn’s and colitis that sharing concerns about psychological wellbeing is an important step forward in treating all aspects of these diseases.

“Connecting with people who have the condition through support groups, such as those offered by CCA, or speaking about your condition with people you trust is vital to protecting your psychological wellbeing. And if your friend, colleague or family member suffers from Crohn’s or colitis, please show them your support and understanding. “It is time to flush the stigma associated with these serious illnesses,” said Raven.

May is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month. Throughout May, CCA will help raise awareness of IBD, and encourage the 85,000 Australians diagnosed with Crohn’s and colitis to speak up and seek support now.

World IBD Day on Sunday 19 May will see famous landmarks around the world illuminated in purple to raise awareness about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This includes the Colosseum in Rome, Niagara Falls in the United States, and significant landmarks in each capital city and many regional areas in Australia. The 2019 World IBD Day will raise much-needed awareness for these invisible illnesses.

CCA’s Awareness Month is supported by Janssen Australia and New Zealand, Takeda Australia, Aspen GI Health and Emerge Health. All content is independently produced by Crohn’s & Colitis Australia.