16 June 2011

Be Epilepsy Aware, says Stevenson

Politicians across Scotland, including Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson, today showed support for 700 of their constituents who live with epilepsy.  They also showed off a handy new reference guide, prepared by the Joint Epilepsy Council with Epilepsy Scotland, which MSPs can use to find the latest information and support for local families. 

Chief Executive Lesslie Young said: 

"It's important to be epilepsy aware because epilepsy affects people of all ages and is far more common than people think.  This information tool makes it easier for politicians to help those living with the condition.  It provides them with basic facts as well as details of useful helplines like ours at Epilepsy Scotland and agencies which can assist with common queries about healthcare, education, driving and benefits. 

"MSPs are busy people so this brief guide will signpost them to organisations that can provide further help as quickly as possible.  Over 40,000 people in Scotland live with this long term and sometimes difficult to manage condition.  Coping in the best of times can be a challenge but the recession is presenting additional stress particularly for those whose essential services are being reduced or withdrawn unexpectedly.   Meantime demands on voluntary organisations like ours are increasing while vital funding is being squeezed from every direction.  In many cases voluntary organisations are the only support or voice a person with epilepsy has to represent them or help them to make an informed choice.  We hope policy makers and politicians will realise the wellbeing of some of their most vulnerable constituents is at risk and will act swiftly to ensure this situation is addressed." 

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson added: 

"I congratulate Epilepsy Scotland and the Joint Epilepsy Council on this initiative. 

"These organisations do an important job in terms of raising awareness of the condition and what can be done to assist.  This reference guide will be an important tool in assisting and advising anyone who requires information and support."

Stewart Stevenson
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