The ME Association (MEA) produces a variety of leaflets on different aspects of ME/CFS. Many of these are based on articles produced for their magazine: ME Essential. These leaflets are only available through the MEA, as a digital download from their online shop or by completing their order form. The majority of the publications cost about £1 depending on your location, and are about 3/4 sides of A4.
The leaflets are divided into groups to make it easier to find what you’re looking for:
- Benefits & social care – what benefits and assistance are available, help filling in forms
- General information – what causes ME, your questions answered, explaining ME to other people
- ME Connect – this is the name of the MEA telephone and email helpline. The series of leaflets was developed based on concerns raised through this service
- Medical management – symptoms, their management, potential treatments. . .
- To whom it may concern letters – information on how to make applications and requests
The information in the leaflets is subject-specific, organised, easy to read, and to the point. There are also signs that the older leaflets are updated as well as new ones being added. Because these are just leaflets, there is a limit to how much information is in them, but they seem to cover the main points of their topic and there are often ‘further information’ contacts included.
Potential therapies, whether mainstream medical or alternative, seem to be dealt with with a balanced view – what current theories are, supporting evidence, how reliable this evidence actually is, potential side-affects, current research and trials etc. Where relevant, suggestions to consult your doctor or other specialist are made.
The leaflets are especially handy if you’re interested in a particular topic, because you don’t have to buy a whole book and rummage through for one chapter, you just choose the leaflet you want and (if you get the download) you can get it instantly.
Do watch your spam folder – the first time I bought a leaflet, the email with the link to download ended up in spam!
Conclusion: cheap, useful information on a variety of topics from a reliable source. They tell it how it is – both when things work and when they don’t. The tone of the writing conveys level-headed calm.
These leaflets are not designed to replace reputable medical guidance.