September 3, 2021

What is the IHS-GPAC Workplace Initiative?

What is IHS-GPAC's Workplace Initiative

Introducing the IHS-GPAC Workplace Initiative that prioritizes wellness and provides support for those with migraine.

Anyone who is impacted by migraine knows that it can interfere with day-to-day life—including time at work. Unfortunately, employers and workplace culture don’t always accommodate the needs of those living with migraine due to lack of awareness of the pervasive impact migraine can have on one’s productivity. The International Headache Society’s Global Patient Advocacy Coalition (IHS-GPAC) is committed to changing the way migraine is managed and supported in the workplace through a new initiative that educates companies on the impact of migraine. 

Why employers need to address migraine in the workplace

Migraine is the third most common disease in the world, affecting 1 in 7 people globally. Though its symptoms can be disabling, many people do not seek treatment due to stigma and a lack of resources and support. Because of how prevalent migraine is, there are likely people within every company or organization that are impacted by this brain disease.

“It’s crucial for employers to recognize the importance of addressing migraine in the workplace,” says IHS-GPAC Chair David Dodick, MD, FAHS. “Many employees spend a majority of their waking hours involved in work, and migraine doesn’t plan around a person’s work responsibilities and schedule. Supporting people with migraine benefits the whole organization.”

What is the Workplace Initiative?

The IHS-GPAC Workplace Initiative provides a roadmap for workplaces to become more accommodating for people living with migraine. The program provides employers with the tools to reduce stigma surrounding migraine, support those impacted by migraine and empower employees to seek treatment and prioritize their well-being.

The Workplace Initiative is a guided program that is designed to educate participants about migraine through three 20-minute interactive courses. Comprising three primary video modules, we educate employees on how migraine impacts individuals and those in the workplace. We also provide goals and tactics for a workplace wellness program, guidance on how to map out the program objectives and guidelines for measuring progress and success. 

International Headache Society President Cristina Tassorelli, MD, PhD, says, “Our goal is to not only make a difference at an employer or local level but also have this program spark a global shift in mindset. We hope this initiative will inspire other workplace programs and proliferate a commitment to supporting people with migraine around the world.”

Benefits for employers and employees

Establishing a workplace initiative that supports people with migraine will benefit employers and employees alike. IHS-GPAC Patient Advocate Audrey Craven says, “Patients who have to manage symptoms at work and fulfill their job responsibilities even while dealing with migraine attacks will greatly benefit from this type of program. It gives people hope that they can be successful at work and at managing migraine.”

Workplace wellness programs contribute to increased understanding, reduced absenteeism, improved productivity and a greater employee satisfaction with the company. Employees feel supported, understood and empowered to take care of themselves, while employers build a happier, healthier workplace culture with more fulfilled and productive employees. With these benefits, the IHS-GPAC Workplace Initiative has the power to lessen the impact of migraine on employees and employers on a global level.

IHS-GPAC is committed to advocating for people with migraine and sharing resources to drive meaningful change. To learn more about the IHS-GPAC Workplace Initiative and how you can bring it to your workplace, check out our Workplace Initiative page. 



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