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National Campaign Encourages Canadians to go “Out of Office” This Migraine Awareness Month


  • Migraine remains underdiagnosed and stigmatized in the workplace, leading to profound impact on work performance and well-being[i]

  • In Canada, migraine is a leading cause for workplace absenteeism, presenteeism and costs related to missed work days[ii]

KIRKLAND, QC, June 3, 2024 – To mark Migraine Awareness Month in June, Pfizer Canada, Migraine Canada, and Migraine Quebec have partnered to launch Out of Office for Migraine Awareness, a national campaign to foster more supportive work environments for Canadians living with migraine – a debilitating neurological disease that can significantly impact multiple aspects of an individual’s life, including their career.[iii],[iv]

During the first work week of Migraine Awareness Month, June 3 to 7, Canadians are encouraged to turn on their Out of Office (OOO) alert for four hours – the minimum duration of an average migraine headache – to show solidarity with the migraine community.[v],[vi] This simple act is a show of support designed to educate and inform the workplace community about migraine.

“I witness firsthand the profound challenges that patients face when managing this complex disease in the workplace, from presenteeism to long term disability” said Dr. Elizabeth Leroux, Neurologist and Founder of Migraine Canada. “People with migraine often work through their debilitating episodes. Raising awareness among employers and HR departments could lead to a cultural and structural change in Canadian workplaces. Stigma and skepticism should be replaced by support, adapted environments and access to medical care. This campaign marks a significant step forward in addressing an area of high unmet need.”

“Migraine is an underdiagnosed disorder and as a result is often stigmatized in the workplace, leading to patients working while dealing with severe symptoms,” said Dr. Heather Pim, Associate Clinical Professor of Neurology, University of Montreal, Director of the Headache Clinic at the University of Montreal Hospital Centre, and President of Migraine Quebec. “While there is no cure for migraine, it can be effectively managed. By raising much-needed awareness and education, I believe this campaign can help make an impact toward healthy work environments and in turn, healthy patients.”

About Migraine in the Workplace
More than five million Canadians live with migraine.[vii] While migraine affects all demographics, its prevalence peaks between the ages of 30-40 when most individuals are likely employed.[viii] Despite this, migraine remains highly misunderstood and stigmatized in the workplace as being directly related to one’s ability to work. [ix]

“Migraine can be physically and mentally debilitating, often going unnoticed by peers for 5 million Canadians,” said Wendy Gerhart, Executive Director, Migraine Canada. “Repurposing an OOO Alert message is a simple step that when shared together, can ignite more meaningful dialogue around migraine in the workplace during Migraine Awareness Month and beyond.”

“Education serves as a powerful tool in dismantling the stigma of migraine, a condition that is frequently trivialized both in professional environments and in day-to-day life. We work hard to provide resources to those who experience migraine, as well as those in their personal and professional circles, so they can gain a deeper understanding of the issue, its possible treatments, and the potential accommodations that can be made to sustain employment amidst the challenges,” said Véronique Clément, Executive Director, Migraine Quebec. “This campaign, and the small step of turning on an OOO Alert, is a great opportunity to support anyone you know who feels misunderstood because of their symptoms, and to inform you about migraine.”

“At Pfizer Canada we’re committed to supporting migraine patients as well as educating our communities to help do the same,” said Andréa Mueller, Primary Care Portfolio Lead at Pfizer Canada. “Leveraging an OOO Alert is the perfect conversation starter in work environments to help colleagues better support one another and reduce the stigma associated with taking necessary steps to manage and treat migraine attacks. We’re excited to see how this campaign helps to achieve more for those who live with migraine.”

The OOO Alert message can provide key migraine information, statistics, and resources to show solidarity for colleagues impacted by migraine while encouraging their professional network to do the same.

For more information on migraine, please visit or  


About Migraine Canada

Migraine Canada is a nationally-registered charity organization dedicated to improving the lives of all Canadians living with migraine and other headache disorders. Our vision is to see that all Canadians living with migraine and headache disorders are diagnosed, treated and supported so their quality of life is optimized. Visit

About Migraine Quebec
Migraine Quebec is a charitable organization founded in 2014. Its mission is to offer support and information throughout Quebec to people living with migraine or headaches as well as their loved ones, in order to help them better manage their conditions and break their isolation. Visit

About Pfizer Canada
Pfizer Canada ULC is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world's leading biopharmaceutical companies. At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that help extend and improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety, and value in the discovery, development, and manufacture of health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work to advance wellness, prevention, treatments, and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit or you can follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, X, Instagram or YouTube.

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[i] Migraine Canada. Access to Care and Treatment for Migraine in Canada Report Card. Accessed March 2024 at

[ii] Migraine Canada. Migraine is Disabling. Accessed March 2024 at

[iii] Patenaude, J., Gouault Laliberté, A., Beauchemin, C. and Lachaine, J. June 2023. PCR72 The Impact of Migraine on Canadians’ Productivity: A Real-World Pharmacy-Based Study. Value in Health, 26 (6). DOI:

[iv] Migraine Canada. Access to Care and Treatment for Migraine in Canada Report Card. Accessed March 2024 at

[v] American Migraine Foundation. How Long Does A Migraine Attack Last. Accessed April 2024 at

[vi] Cleveland Clinic. Migrain Headaches. Accessed April 2024 at

[vii] Migraine Canada. Access to Care and Treatment for Migraine in Canada Report Card. Accessed March 2024 at

[viii] Ramage-Morin PL, Gilmour H. Prevalence of migraine in the Canadian household population. Health Rep. 2014 Jun;25(6):10-6. PMID: 24941316.

[ix] Young, W. B., Park, J. E., Tian, I. X., & Kempner, J. (2013). The stigma of migraine. PloS one, 8(1). DOI:

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