In the fall of 2011, 671 Canadians across the country participated in a survey entitled The Impact of Epilepsy on Canadians. Leger Marketing conducted the survey in both official languages. This is the first of its kind in Canada to explore the impact on life and health among adults living with the disorder.
The findings reveal that Canadian adults living with epilepsy are still struggling to control the common seizure disorder. They face social consequences upon disclosing their epilepsy, usually because of a lack of awareness about epilepsy. Canadians also face serious health obstacles including access to specialized care and treatment options.
Canadians living with epilepsy list the following top challenges that need to be addressed:
- Stigma and discrimination
- Lack of independence
- Social and work barriers
Epilepsy Ontario joins the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance urges all Canadians to take a stand in support of those living with epilepsy by:
1. Eliminating the stigma facing those living with epilepsy.
You can do this by supporting greater public education and awareness about the disorder. Start the conversation about epilepsy by handing out brochures and pamphlets in your school or workplace, or invite your family and friends to one of our events.
2. Ensuring access to all safe and effective options for optimal seizure control – right across Canada.
Are you familiar with the first aid procedures for a seizure? How about your friends, family, colleagues or teachers? You can help them respond effectively by sharing our printer-friendly first aid fact sheet.
3. Expecting and demanding the best possible specialized care, treatment and social supports for Canadians living with epilepsy.
Epilepsy Ontario is pushing for a provincial epilepsy strategy to make fully-equipped epilepsy care centres available to all Ontarians. Contact your local agency to find out how you can support this strategy.
For more information on The Impact of Epilepsy on Canadians survey, see the following (downloadable PDFs):