As you may already know, here at National Epilepsy Training, our epilepsy awareness training courses are designed to ensure that anyone who may need to be is aware of epilepsy and knows how to react in emergency situations. This could include parents, teachers, employers, carers or nurses and other healthcare professionals.
In this post though, we want to talk a little bit more broadly about what epilepsy awareness is and what it can mean for a person with epilepsy.
Whilst approximately 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, there is a distinct lack of awareness about it and many people when asked will believe incorrect assumptions or have a vague understanding of a very narrow focus of epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a very varied subject and each person with epilepsy may have different symptoms. When asked, most people will characterise a seizure as falling on the ground and convulsing, which is just one type of seizure (tonic-clonic) and isn’t experienced by every person who has epilepsy. Awareness of these things is the key to a safer society for over 50 million people.
Think about it, if someone has a heart attack in public, there’s a good chance someone will know cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). If someone chokes, there is usually someone prepared to perform the heimlich maneuver. If someone has a seizure, there are far fewer people who will know what to do in that situation to help safeguard the person which may mean that nobody attempts to help, or even worse, tries to help and does something that could, in fact, cause more harm than good.
Whether you have epilepsy or not, there are things you can do as an individual to help improve epilepsy awareness, including:
National Epilepsy Awareness month takes place every November and is the perfect time to start making a difference by spreading awareness of epilepsy via any of the methods above. You can also show your support by wearing a purple ribbon during the month. Become an ambassador or volunteer to help in any way you can.
Finally, we feel that the most important thing you can do is to make sure you are in the position to help someone when they need you most through epilepsy awareness training. At National Epilepsy Training, we offer a range of training courses led by an experienced and knowledgeable team.
Learn about epilepsy, seizures and their causes / triggers, the different types of epilepsy and how to recognise seizures and provide first aid in an emergency. Our 3 hour course gives participants a great understanding of epilepsy and the practical skills to help someone and potentially save them from harm.