KNOW EPILEPSY EDUCATION
Epilepsy is not a mental illness. It is not a sign of low intelligence. It is not contagious. It is a brain disorder in which brain cells create abnormal electrical impulses that cause seizures. During a seizure, a person might have muscle spasms, a temporary loss of consciousness, a period of confusion, a staring spell, or a sudden need to sleep. Unless they take medication to control them (and, unfortunately, even sometimes when they do), people with epilepsy are prone to experiencing seizures on a frequent basis.
KNOW EPILEPSY CAMPAIGN
Epilepsy is one of the most misunderstood, underfunded, underrecognized, and endangering neurological disorders in the U.S. and it’s affecting the well-being of more than 30,000 people in Shelby County and more than 6,700 people in Desoto County living with active epilepsy. The KNOW EPILEPSY campaign will be supported by the Foundation’s effort to heighten public awareness, education, advocacy, and community services. Sadly, the public has been hard-wired to avoid epilepsy. This campaign will help the general public understand the connection between epilepsy and the neurological condition that causes it. Our hope is that the campaign will rewire the reaction when seeing someone have a seizure and replace it with empathy and informed action. Pubic misunderstanding about epilepsy causes social challenges like bullying, discrimination, and depression. People don’t want to talk about it, but it can no longer be ignored in our community. Over a lifetime, one in 10 people will have a seizure, and one in 26 will be diagnosed with epilepsy. There are more people living with epilepsy; than with autism, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy combined.
KNOW EPILEPSY will shift the conversation from ignorance to understanding, and put an end to the misunderstanding, silence, lack of funding for epilepsy care, and negative stigma associated with epilepsy. A major component of the campaign is promoting seizure recognition and educating people on how to administer first aid. People with epilepsy are 30 percent more likely to have accidental injuries related to their seizures as compared to the general population. By knowing about seizure first aid, people can help to decrease injuries.
Thousands of people in the United States die each year from SUDEP and seizure-related causes. Anyone can have a seizure; seizures can happen anywhere, anytime. It’s imperative that everyone learns seizure first aid. Public educated in seizure first aid can help prevent injuries and help save lives. Acting together will change the way people think about epilepsy and seizures. The mission of this program is to educate the general public; such as local businesses, schools, universities, colleges, and communities about epilepsy and SUDEP awareness and to understand the steps on how to recognize a seizure and know first aid.