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March Resource Development Blog: Epilepsy Awareness Day by Sara Franklin with Epilepsy Awareness Foundation of Alabama

Resource Development Blog: Epilepsy Awareness Day

Resource Development Blog
Epilepsy Awareness Day: Learn How You Can Help Eliminate the Stigma Associated with Epilepsy Alongside Epilepsy Foundation Alabama

By: Sara Franklin, Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama Regional Director

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”  Maya Angelou

Rain or shine, I’m writing today to encourage those in Southwest Alabama to paint it all purple in honor of Epilepsy Awareness Day, which falls on March 26th.  

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects millions of people worldwide, including more than 54,100 people right here in the state of Alabama.

Unfortunately, epilepsy is often stigmatized, and many people do not fully understand the condition. That is why Epilepsy Awareness Day is essential. It’s an opportunity for people to raise awareness about epilepsy and reduce its associated stigma.

In this blog post, we will cover several initiatives undertaken by the Epilepsy Foundation in Alabama to promote epilepsy awareness and educate people about the condition. We’re grateful to the United Way of Southwest Alabama for allowing us the opportunity to be a partner agency and to share this information with you.

Firstly, Epilepsy Awareness Day encourages people to wear purple on March 26th and speak up about epilepsy. Using social media is a powerful tool to spread awareness. If you plan to participate, don’t forget to use #EpilepsyAwarenessDay when posting and tag Epilepsy Foundation Alabama.

Secondly, advocacy is crucial in promoting epilepsy awareness. The Epilepsy Foundation is actively working to educate Alabama’s federal lawmakers about epilepsy advocacy priorities. You can join the cause by sending emails, tweets, and calling your state and federal elected officials at critical points. To take action and make your voice heard, visit the Epilepsy Foundation’s advocacy website at www.epilepsy.com/advocacy

Thirdly, the National Walk to END EPILEPSY is a significant initiative to raise epilepsy awareness. The National Walk will take place in Washington, DC on May 6, 2023. Even if you can’t travel to DC this spring, you can create your own team and walk right here in Southwest Alabama. Our website gives you many resources and tools to create your own local walk.

Fourthly, the Epilepsy Foundation is collaborating researchers this spring to conduct a research study examining the role of shame in seizure disorders. Participants can participate online. To learn more about the study and how you can participate, email alabama@efa.org

Fifthly, the American Academy of Pediatrics, in partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation and Rare Epilepsy Network (REN), is launching an ECHO Learning Collaborative to increase the knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy of providers to diagnose and treat rare or genetic epilepsy, DEEs, and epilepsy syndromes. If you’re a health professional, consider joining the program, or if you know someone interested, please email alabama@efa.org to get connected.

Lastly, the Epilepsy Foundation provides seizure first aid posters at www.epilepsy.com/firstaid that you can use to educate those around you about what to do if someone has a seizure, since 1 in 10 people will have a seizure at some point in their lives.

Most importantly, however, if you haven’t yet become Seizure First Aid certified, take some time to do the course on-demand here: https://learn.epilepsy.com/courses/seizure-first-aid-cert-ondemand

In conclusion, Epilepsy Awareness Day is an opportunity for people to spread awareness about epilepsy and reduce its associated stigma. The Epilepsy Foundation’s initiatives are essential in promoting epilepsy awareness, and there are several ways you can participate, from social media advocacy to participating in the Walk to END EPILEPSY. Let us all work together to make the world a better place for people living with epilepsy.

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Sara Franklin
Epilepsy Foundation Alabama
sfranklin@efa.org
1-800-332-1000