May 14, 2018 Concord, ON- Epilepsy Ontario has launched a new awareness campaign to coincide with 2018 provincial election, hoping to gain attention from all parties for the need for epilepsy education and support program funding.
Called #EpilepsyElection, the campaign encourages people living with epilepsy and their families to get in touch with their local candidates and the major party leaders to express their support for programs run by Ontario’s Community Epilepsy Agencies and the need for provincial funding to sustain them.
“Over 90000 people in Ontario live with epilepsy and community education and support programs are a key component of seizure care plans,” said Drew Woodley, Director of Government Relations with Epilepsy Ontario. “Yet Ontario’s Community Epilepsy Agencies deliver these programs without core government funding. This leaves these programs at risk and parts of the province under-served. Candidates and leaders from all parties need to understand the importance of education and support programs and the best way to do that is by hearing from people living with epilepsy.”
Despite the fact that nearly 1-in-100 people in Ontario live with epilepsy, and community education programs for other neurological conditions have received significant government investments, funding for epilepsy community programs has not been forthcoming.
“Epilepsy Ontario and the province’s Community Epilepsy Agencies have made a compelling case for education and support programs. These programs help people better understand and manage their seizures. They reduce unnecessary hospital use. They address the challenges people face at work or in the classroom while living with seizures. Yet, these programs still aren’t funded,” said Woodley. “Our hope is that when candidates hear from people living in their communities during the election about the need for these programs, they will start to take the issue more seriously during the next government.”
The campaign provides resources for individuals to engage their local candidates through social media, email, and at debates, building on the work Community Epilepsy Agencies have been doing through candidate questionnaires and in person meetings.
For more information on #EpilepsyElection, visit www.epilepsyontario.org/election.
For more information contact:
Drew Woodley, Director of Government Relations, Epilepsy Ontario