Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, is raising awareness of epilepsy to mark Purple Day.
Cassidy Megan created the idea of Purple Day in 2008, motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy. Cassidy’s goal is to get people talking about epilepsy in an effort to dispel myths and inform those with seizures that they are not alone.
Some of the key epilepsy campaigns on Purple Day 2021 are:
- Epilepsy and employment (Epilepsy Action): research shows that not only are people with epilepsy less likely to have a paid job, but when they do, they earn less than their non-disabled peers.
- Safe Mum, Safe Baby (Epilepsy Society): this campaign is calling for safer medication for pregnant women with epilepsy.
- Mental health support for children with epilepsy (Young Epilepsy): Children with epilepsy are four times more likely to experience a mental health problem than their peers. However, only 14.5% of children’s epilepsy clinics in England provide mental health support, although this is recommended best practice.
- Research at Risk (Epilepsy Research UK): Epilepsy research is underfunded. Action is needed or epilepsy will continue to interrupt lives and have a wider impact on health care, employment, education… The costs will continue to increase and innovations in diagnosis and treatments of the condition will be brought to a standstill.
Gwynne has tabled some parliamentary questions to ministers to understand issues around epilepsy and employment.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“Purple Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness of epilepsy and the issues facing those with epilepsy.
“More than that though, it is a chance for us to push for action.
“Whether it’s on employment, maternal health, mental health or research, there is still much that needs to be done.”