Martin Whitfield MSP is calling on people living with epilepsy in South Scotland Region and across Scotland to take part in a new national survey to understand the affect epilepsy can have on mental health, launched this week by Epilepsy Scotland.
Epilepsy, which is the most common neurological condition, is defined as the tendency to have repeated seizures which start in the brain. There are an estimated 58,000 people in Scotland living with epilepsy, including around 820 in East Lothian and over 7000 in the whole South Scotland Region.
This new national survey looks to understand the experiences of people of all ages living with epilepsy across Scotland and seeks to identify which specific support measures should be highlighted.
Martin Whitfield MSP said:
“I’m delighted to support Epilepsy Scotland in promoting this vitally important national survey to help understand the specific mental health needs of people living with epilepsy in Scotland.
“Across the South Scotland parliamentary region there are estimated to be around 7034 people living with epilepsy, which can have a significant impact on their day-to-day life and on mental wellbeing.
“People living with epilepsy are more likely to develop mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression, as a result of the condition. I’m encouraging all my constituents and people across Scotland with epilepsy to make their voices heard through this survey.”
Lesslie Young, Chief Executive of Epilepsy Scotland, added:
“We are pleased to have the support of Martin Whitfield in promoting our ‘It’s Time to Talk about Epilepsy’ mental health survey to people living in his region and across Scotland.
“Epilepsy can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health and almost every person we support through our national helpline is affected by mental health struggles.
“To someone living with uncontrolled seizures, there is a significant psychological impact of never knowing when the next seizure is going to happen. For some who have controlled seizures, the medication can have side effects which affect mood and mental health.
“I would encourage anyone living with epilepsy to share your experiences through our survey, to ensure your voice is heard.”
The survey will run for six weeks and will close on Monday 13th March 2023.
To complete the survey, please visit www.epilepsyscotland.org.uk/mentalhealthsurvey/.