March is epilepsy awareness month! As a neurological disorder characterized by abnormal brain activity, epilepsy commonly causes seizures in affected individuals, as well as periods of unusual behavior, sensations, or loss of awareness. Did you know that epilepsy affects nearly 1 in 100 individuals? Of the roughly 300,000 Canadians that live with epilepsy, approximately 23,000 people are living with this disorder in Edmonton and Northern Alberta alone. Epilepsy does not discriminate and can affect anyone, regardless of gender, race, age, or ethnicity.
The Edmonton Epilepsy Association (EEA) has been around since 1960, improving the lives of Canadians with epilepsy through information, support services, and education programs. They strive to promote an improved quality of life for people living with epilepsy, their families, and caregivers alike. Today, over 5000 people of all ages benefit from the services of the EEA annually. Providing a complimentary first-year membership, and subsequent annual memberships for $20.00, members have access to a plethora of free information, services, and resources.
With a focus on epilepsy, the EEA publishes 6 original newsletters annually, as well as a series of information booklets, compiled with updates, news, and research about everything epilepsy. To teach and raise awareness to community leaders, healthcare providers, and the general public alike, the EEA offers free online webinars and information sessions about epilepsy. Kids on the Block (KOB) is a series of live shows that the EEA offers to classrooms everywhere, serving as a means to learn together and discover what life is like for children with epilepsy.
Through Home-Based Self-Management and Cognitive Training (HOBSCOTCH), the EEA provides individual memory coaching to members with epilepsy who want to improve their memory skills for a better quality of life. In addition, the EEA’s mentorship program matches members who walk similar paths living with epilepsy to share experiences, celebrate, and help one another along the way.
The EEA organizes several fundraising events throughout the year to generate interest, awareness, and support to fund the numerous free resources it offers. With the wide range of volunteer programs available, the EEA welcomes all members of the community to come together and contribute towards the EEA’s mission and values. Volunteers are given ample opportunities to network, build connections, and collaborate with a wide range of local and national agencies to create pathways to solutions for people living with epilepsy.
To learn more about all that the EEA has to offer, visit their website at www.epilepsyedmonton.org. There you will find a wealth of information, resources, program details, and the hub for all things EEA. Do you want to have a chat? Give the EEA a call at 780-488-9600. With office hours open on weekdays, the EEA offers individual phone counselling sessions to members who need a friendly, confidential, and listening ear. Follow the EEA on social media for all the latest updates as well! Happy epilepsy awareness month!