Important note: Giving personal advice isn’t part of my role with Action for M.E., so please see your own pharmacist or GP about your health problems and medication. Don’t stop taking medication without speaking to your prescriber about any problems you may be having.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of help available but is based on the sort of questions I have been asked by people with M.E., family and friends of people with M.E., and health professionals. Click on the type of query below to take you to the appropriate part of this page. Links open in a new browser tab.
- Health and medication queries
- Pharmacy information
- Online bullying and staying safe online
- Emotional support
- Information about M.E.
- Information for your GP
- Support for carers
- Standing up for your rights: health, benefits and work
- Information about Action for M.E.
Health and medication queries ^back to top^
It’s really important to get any new symptoms you may be having checked out. Your own health professionals are the best people to talk to if you have any concerns or queries. If you’re unsure who to see or where to go for a particular problem, visit one of the websites at the end of this section to help you decide the right place to go with health queries in your part of the UK. Some CCGs have smartphone apps you can use to help you choose the right place in your local area to go to with your problem, such as walk-in centres.
Pharmacies can also be a good first port of call without the need for an appointment, as pharmacists are trained to recognise symptoms and help you decide what the appropriate course of action should be. This can be helpful if you’re not sure whether you need to see a doctor or if you have trouble getting appointments. They can also give you advice about your medication, such as side effects, safety of over-the-counter medication, and seasonal health advice.
- NHS England
- NHS Wales
- NHS Scotland
- NHS Northern Ireland
- Find your local CCG on this map and visit their website for local pharmacy and GP out-of-hours arrangements, health campaigns and events in your area
Sources of reliable, evidence-based health information:
Pharmacy information ^back to top^
Pharmacies can be a good first port of call without the need for an appointment, as pharmacists are trained to recognise symptoms and help you decide what the appropriate course of action should be. This can be helpful if you’re not sure whether you need to see a doctor or if you have trouble getting appointments. They can also give you advice about your medication, such as side effects, safety of over-the-counter medication, and seasonal health advice.
Out of hours information:
Some pharmacies are open at evenings and weekends, especially ones within supermarkets, even when the supermarket itself is closed. There’s a local rota for bank holidays and Christmas advertised in local press and on your CCG’s website. You can go to any pharmacy for advice or to get a prescription dispensed out of hours – it doesn’t have to be your usual one.
- NHS Choices: Pharmacy Search: useful for opening times and maps
- Find your local CCG and visit their website to find out pharmacy and GP out-of-hours arrangements in your area
Online bullying and staying safe ^back to top^
Online bullying is a serious issue and everyone has the right to feel safe online. If that means blocking or muting someone then don’t feel bad about doing that to protect yourself from harm, even if it’s just temporarily. Some resources about staying safe and coping with online bullying:
- Staying safe on Twitter
- Staying safe on Facebook
- NHS Choices: Coping with cyberbullying
- Bullying UK: Cyber bullying pages
- National Bullying Helpline
- The Mix (formerly Get Connected): advice and free counselling by phone/email/app/webchat for under 25s on any topic, including bullying
Emotional support ^back to top^
- Mind: “Urgent help” button, and information on mental health problems, getting support, and advice on helping someone you care about
- SANE crisis support
- Refer yourself to talking therapies via NHS Choices
- NHS-approved online therapies
- 7 cups: Free, anonymous and confidential online text chat with trained listeners, online therapists & counselors
- The Mix (formerly Get Connected): advice and free counselling by phone/email/app/webchat for under 25s on any topic, including bullying, discrimination, money, housing, relationships, drugs, addiction, mental health and self-harm
- Feeling isolated? Action for M.E.’s page for connecting with others with M.E., such as their safe, moderated forum
Information about M.E. ^back to top^
- “What is M.E.” section of the Action for M.E. website contains information on what it feels like to have M.E., causes, symptoms, diagnosis, degrees of severity, and severe M.E
- “Living with M.E.” section contains info on management of M.E., benefits, social care, and working, and info for carers and friends & family
- Shop with useful aids and gadgets for people with M.E.
- Local M.E. support groups and specialists
- Questions & Answers about living with M.E.
- Action for M.E.’s moderated forum: Friends Online
- Scottish Hub
- “Newly Diagnosed with M.E.” booklet download
- “Pacing for people with M.E.” booklet download
- “All about M.E.: symptoms and management” booklet download
Information for your GP ^back to top^
- The health professionals section of the Action for M.E. website
See the “Key Things to Consider” page for useful info from patients and professionals
- BACME guide: Written by CFS/M.E. specialists for GPs
The first section on pharmacological management is particularly useful
- The NICE Guidelines for CFS/M.E.
- Scottish Good Practice Statement on M.E.-CFS
- Video by Action for M.E.’s chief medical advisors (Length 3:32)
Support for carers ^back to top^
A carer can be a partner, relative or friend of any age, who looks after someone unable to look after themselves on an unpaid basis.
- The Carers section of the Action for M.E. website has info on finances, looking after yourself as a carer, social care support, and info for young carers
- The friends and family section of the website has info if your child, partner or friend has M.E.
- “Your child and M.E.” booklet download
- “Caring for somebody with M.E.” booklet download
- NHS: Your guide to care and support – includes search box for local care and support services
- Carers UK
- My blog: Support from your pharmacy if you’re an unpaid carer
Standing up for your rights ^back to top^
- Nothing about M.E. without me: self-advocacy resource with all your rights on healthcare, social care, benefits, housing, and employment, along with advice on communicating effectively to get your needs met, including how to make a complaints
- “M.E. and work” booklet download
- Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS): Look up your local PALS
- Health Rights Information Scotland
- Action for M.E.’s welfare benefits factsheets and helpline
- Citizens Advice Bureau
Information about Action for M.E. ^back to top^
Action for M.E. is an organisation led by people with M.E., for people with M.E. The majority of staff, trustees and volunteers either have M.E. themselves or have a loved one with the illness. The charity believes in transparency and welcomes queries about the work done and its values, so if the answer to your query isn’t found below, please do contact them via one of the methods on their contact details page during normal office hours. I can’t answer queries myself as I have M.E., and therefore have limited energy.
- About Action for M.E.: background info about the charity and its values, staff, volunteers, medical advisers, and trustees
- News about the charity’s work, such as campaigns
- Action for M.E.’s Scottish Hub
- Working and volunteering for the charity, including current vacancies
- Questions & Answers: information about the charity’s research strategy and the research projects it funds
- Letter in support of PACE trial data release
- Policy on data sharing
- Policy on the use of the names CFS, M.E./CFS and M.E. is at the bottom of the Introduction to M.E. page