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Sample Summary Proclamation
Request & Proclamation


Office of Governor _______(name)________

We are asking that Governor _______(name)________ proclaim September 8-14, 2008 as National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. Information about this request and sample wording for a proclamation is provided on the following pages.

Did you know...?
Nearly 1 in 2 people in the USA have a chronic illness. (1) Most of these people "look great," but feel terrible. 96% of chronic illnesses are invisible.

Here are some surprising facts about chronic illness:

  • About 9 million people are cancer survivors with various side effects from treatment. Cancer is a chronic illness that forces families to make various short- and long-term adjustments. (2)
  • Despite what we may assume, 60% of those who live with daily illness or pain are between the ages of 18 and 64. (3) However, 90% of seniors have at least one chronic disease and 77% have two or more chronic diseases. (4)
  • The divorce rate among the chronically ill is over 75 percent. (5)
  • Depression is 15-20% higher for the chronically ill than for the average person. (6) However, the significance of one's faith has shown to lower one's risk of depressive symptoms and aid one in better handling a stressful medical event. (7)
  • Various studies have reported that physical illness or uncontrollable physical pain are major factors in up to 70% of suicides (8); and more than 50% of these suicidal patients were under 35 years of age. (9)
  • About one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year (10) and more than 90 percent of people who kill themselves have a diagnosable mental disorder. (11)
  • Four in five health care dollars (78%) are spent on behalf of people with chronic conditions. (12)

Paul J. Donoghue and Mary Siegel, authors of Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired: Living With Invisible Chronic Illness say, "Invisible chronic illnesses (ICI) have symptoms that are difficult to see and impossible to measure such as pain and fatigue. So those with ICI frequently encounter not compassion and support but impatience and skepticism from physicians and loved ones."

[ Briefly describe how having an invisible illness affects you or your family]

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is a designated time, in which people who live with chronic illness, those that love them, and organizations are encouraged to educate the general public, churches, healthcare professionals and government officials about the impact of living with a chronic illness that is not visually apparent.

Please let us know if you need any additional information. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.


1-The Growing Burden of Chronic Disease in American, Public Heal Reports / May–June 2004 / Volume 119, Gerard Anderson, PhD
2-Chronic Care in America: A 21st Century Challenge, a study of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
3-American Cancer Society
4-The Growing Burden of Chronic Disease in American, Public Heal Reports / May–June 2004 / Volume 119, Gerard Anderson, PhD
5--National Health Interview Survey
6-Rifkin, A. "Depression in Physically Ill Patients," Postgraduate Medicine (9-92) 147-154.
7-Pressman P., Lyons J.S., Larson D.B., Strain, J.J. "Religious belief, depression, and ambulation status in elderly women with broken hips." American Journal of Psychiatry 1990; 147(6): 758-760.
7-Mackenzie TB, Popkin MK: "Suicide in the medical patient.". Intl J Psych in Med 17:3-22, 1987
8-Michalon M: La psychiatrie de consultation-liaison: une etude prospective en milieu hospitalier general. Can J Psychiatry (In French) 38:168-174,1993
10-Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun;62(6):617-27.
11-Conwell Y, Brent D. Suicide and aging I: patterns of psychiatric diagnosis. International Psychogeriatrics, 1995; 7(2): 149-64.
12-The Growing Burden of Chronic Disease in American, Public Health Reports, MayJune 2004 Volume 119 Gerard Anderson, PhD

Sample Summary Proclamation

WHEREAS, nearly half of all Americans have a chronic illness, and 60% of those are between the ages of 18 and 64, most of which appear to be healthy individuals.

WHEREAS, invisible illnesses affects children and adults of all races and ethnicity and ages; and

WHEREAS, living with a chronic illillness increases the rate of both depression and suicide, and both risks are increased when one is not believed by others to be ill; and

WHEREAS, regardless of what illness one lives with, s/he often copes with the same feelings of being misunderstood, frustrations and grief; doubt about ones illness by family, collegues, and even strangers can be devestating; and

WHEREAS, an new awareness by the public that most people who cope with chronic illness and significant pain may appear to be healthy, can greatly improve the quality of life for those who are ill; and

WHEREAS, by raising public awareness of invisible illness, the State of _____________ seeks to increase the awareness of invisible illness among all _______________ (state residents) ; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ________(name)______, Governor of the state of ______________ (state) do hereby proclaim September 8-14, 2008 as National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week in the state of _____________.


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National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week ™ is an official annual campaign sponsored by Rest Ministries
in collaboration with other sponsors. All information is Copyrighted, 2008, however, copies can be made and freely distributed as designed for and intended for advocacy partners for the purpose of representing National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week ™. If you have any questions, please email us for clarification.