In February 2023, Epilepsy Scotland launched a national survey seeking the views and experiences of people living with epilepsy and the impact the condition has on their mental health.
We received 718 responses to this national survey and have used the findings to compile a report on the impacts of epilepsy and mental health.
What the survey highlights is that so many people living with epilepsy – whether their seizures are controlled or not – are mentally suffering and need specific targeted support.
We have devised five recommendations that we are calling the Scottish Government, local authorities, healthboards, and all stakeholders to consider implementing.
Number 1: To increase the number of mental health-trained professionals (including counsellors) available to people living with epilepsy and to increase the level of understanding of epilepsy amongst those working in mental health services.
Number 2: To increase the number of in-person support groups for people living with epilepsy and their families across Scotland.
Number 3: For interested epilepsy charities and mental health charities to work collaboratively to create a strategy to improve the mental health of people living with epilepsy in Scotland.
Number 4: To ask the Scottish Government and local authorities to take steps to increase public awareness of epilepsy to the wider public for improved societal understanding of a complex neurological condition affecting many aspects of a person’s life. Any awareness campaigns should also seek to inform people living with epilepsy and their families of information and support available to them.
Number 5: To ask health boards across Scotland to consider steps for routine screening of mental health issues in epilepsy clinics with immediate referral to mental health support where required.
You can read the full report by clicking here.
If you would like support from Epilepsy Scotland with regards to any of the issues highlighted in the report, please call our free and confidential helpline on 0808 800 2000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.