13-02-2017 | Epilepsy Ireland focuses on employment issues for this year’s International Epilepsy Day

13 February 2017
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International Epilepsy Day takes place today and Epilepsy Ireland is using the day to focus on awareness of the condition in the workplace.

International Epilepsy Day is a global event which aims to promote awareness on epilepsy right around the world in more than 120 countries both at government level as well as among the general public. It aims to increase visibility of epilepsy and encourage discussion about it worldwide with educational activities.

Epilepsy facts

  • Over 37,000 people in Ireland have epilepsy
  • 1 in every 20 people will have a single seizure at some time during their lives
  • Nationally, there are approximately 10,000 children (under 16 years old) with the condition
  • About 12,000-15,000 people in Ireland have uncontrolled epilepsy at any time
  • Approximately 1,200 – 2,000 people are diagnosed with epilepsy each year in Ireland
  • Worldwide there are at least 50 million people with the condition

Speaking about the stigma associated with epilepsy and employment, Peter Murphy, Epilepsy Ireland CEO said: "Despite the fact that epilepsy is the most common serious neurological condition in Ireland, general understanding of the condition remains poor and negative attitudes towards epilepsy are a major challenge for many people in employment with the condition.

"In most cases epilepsy should not affect career prospects. However, the impact of epilepsy on people's lives varies a great deal and decisions on employment should be based on each individual's circumstances. Most people with the condition are perfectly able to work at whatever they choose to do. Many do not have any particular difficulties when placed in the right job, but each person's limitations need to be individually assessed. People with epilepsy can also find it difficult when seeking employment and often face a dilemma in deciding whether to reveal their condition to their manager and colleagues.

"There are many misconceptions about epilepsy. It is important for employers to remember that most people with epilepsy have been able to stabilise their condition through a medical regime. Furthermore, for the majority of people with epilepsy, the condition is unlikely to impinge on their working lives."

Epilepsy Ireland provides a number of resources and support services - for more information and to read the new International Epilepsy Day page log onto www.epilepsy.ie.

February 13th also marks the beginning of Rose Week and Epilepsy Ireland is always looking for volunteers to sell roses throughout the country at shopping centres, schools, colleges and workplaces. Rose appeals have been an important source of funding for Epilepsy Ireland since 1992 and the charity relies on volunteers to make the appeal a success. If you are interested please email fundraising@epilepsy.ie or call 01 4557500. You can also support the Rose Appeal by texting the word ROSES to 50300. 100% of your €4 donation will go directly to Epilepsy Ireland. Some providers charge VAT which means that a minimum of €3.25 will go to Epilepsy Ireland. Service Provider: LikeCharity; Helpline 0766805278.

Epilepsy Ireland is the national organization supporting and representing people with epilepsy, their families and carers. Established in 1966, the charity today provides a wide range of support and information services from head office in Dublin and from nine locations around the country. The charity also provides training programmes for both health professionals and for young adults with epilepsy; actively works to improve public understanding of epilepsy and funds high quality Irish research into the condition.







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