Joan McAlpine champions rights of people affected by M.E.

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MSP Joan McAlpine attended a screening of ‘Unrest’ – an award-winning film about the difficulties of living with ME in the Scottish Parliament, to raise awareness of the debilitating condition, ME.


Hosted by Ben Macpherson MSP, the reception was funded and organised by a group of volunteers with the support of the charity ME Action.


The reception included a short excerpt from a documentary film, Unrest, which tells the story of people with ME.  Unrest won a special jury award at last year’s Sundance Film Festival and was longlisted for the Oscars.


Two speakers who suffer from ME told MSPs about the devastating impact of ME on their lives.


The discussion highlighted that around 21,000 people in Scotland are affected by ME, which strikes indiscriminately of age, often devastating previously healthy and active lives.


Following the event, Ms McAlpine wrote to NHS Dumfries and Galloway to ask about their approach to the treatment of M.E. as well as approaching NHS Education for Scotland to ask what training can be provided for health professionals to help them provide effective support to ME sufferers.


Commenting Ms McAlpine said:


“Unrest was very moving, and I am grateful to those constituents who took the time to tell me their stories of suffering with ME.


“I have written to the local health board and NHS Education for Scotland in hope of opening a dialogue about how we approach the treatment of ME.”




ME is a debilitating neuro-immune disease which leaves sufferers unable to work or even carry out basic everyday tasks.  It causes profound fatigue and can lead to cognitive impairment.


Famous Scots including Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch, author Ali Smith and former Celtic player Davie Provan have all been sufferers. 


In a recent survey of Scottish patients, two-thirds of people with severe ME had been ill for 10 years of more.