Southern Trust raising epilepsy awareness

Clements Family.
Clements Family.

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust hosted an information event to help carers and clients learn about epilepsy.

The Southern Trust currently has 3500 clients over the age of 18 being treated for epilepsy, a figure that has risen by 600 in the past year.

It’s the only Health Trust in Northern Ireland to offer a self-management programme for people with epilepsy and welcomes carers and families to come along and assist those with poor short term memory.

The Trust’s Epilepsy teamed up with the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council to host a coffee morning and invited all people affected by epilepsy to come along.

Specialists within the Trust offered private discussions and representatives from Epilepsy Action, the UK’s leading epilepsy organisation, delivered speeches.

Francis Rice, Director of Mental Health and Disability within the Southern Trust, said: “Over 600,000 people in the UK have epilepsy - a serious neurological condition which causes seizures.

“Epilepsy can affect many aspects of your life and you have to think about some of the daily things you do to make sure you are as safe as possible.

“As around half of people with a learning disability also have epilepsy we are delighted to offer extra support for these clients and their families, to help them to cope with their condition.”

The Trust’s epilepsy nursing service is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

After 5pm and at weekends the Learning Disability Crisis Response Team offers advice and support to individuals with a learning disability and epilepsy.

In the UK, there are over 600,000 people with epilepsy.

Having epilepsy always means that you have a tendency to have epileptic seizures. It is not necessarily a life-long diagnosis. And doctors may consider that you no longer have epilepsy if you go without seizures for a long enough time.

For further information on epilepsy please contact Epilepsy Nurse Specialist, Sandra Wylie, Tel: 028 37 41 838, or Email: Sandra.Wylie@southerntrust.hscni.net.