In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, national charity Epilepsy Action continues to support the 600,000 people living with epilepsy in the UK. Thursday 26 March is Purple Day, the global day for epilepsy – and the charity is releasing a new video raising awareness of epilepsy’s wide-reaching impact.
Calls to the charity’s helpline about COVID-19 have increased five-fold, from people worried about the impact the outbreak might have on their seizures. They are anxious about the impact of lockdown on their health and welfare, medical appointments and possible medicine shortages.
The charity’s senior helpline advisor Grace Haydon said: “This is an unprecedented, extreme situation and highlights just how much people with epilepsy need vital information, support and reassurance. People with epilepsy want to know if they are at increased risk from coronavirus, if the symptoms could trigger their seizures, and how they can access medicine if they have to self-isolate.”
Epilepsy Action urges people to stay connected and supported during the global crisis. People can speak to experts on the Epilepsy Action Helpline (freephone 0808 800 5050) or find extensive advice and information at epilepsy.org.uk. People can share experiences on the charity’s online forum (forum.epilepsy.org.uk) and through its social media channels @epilepsyaction.
Epilepsy Action chief executive Philip Lee said: “Throughout the coronavirus pandemic we want to ensure people with epilepsy that we’re still here to support them. Every year, Purple Day sees people all over the world sharing experiences and showing unity. In these challenging times, it’s vital for us to celebrate and support each other. Please share your stories and let’s make this a truly united Purple Day for people with epilepsy.”
With countless fundraising events cancelled, Epilepsy Action is urging people to be creative and take part in virtual challenges, fundraisers or gatherings on social media.
The public can also help people with epilepsy this Purple Day and beyond, offering to shop for them, help with childcare or pick up prescriptions.
To support Epilepsy Action’s Purple Day appeal and help people affected by epilepsy, visit epilepsy.org.uk/now . Funds raised will help the charity to continue to deliver vital support services for people with epilepsy, from its expert helpline and social media networks to advice and information on its website.
Epilepsy can affect anyone, at any age, from any background and 87 people are diagnosed with the condition every day. Epilepsy affects 600,000 people in the UK – around one in every 100 people.