This afternoon, SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, will lead a debate in Holyrood on Epilepsy Scotland’s recently published report, ‘Epilepsy on the Mind’.
The debate will highlight the report’s findings, and acknowledge that an estimated 58,000 people in Scotland are living with the neurological condition. Around 270 people in the Western Isles are thought to be affected by epilepsy.
The Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP will also, during the debate, address the fact that out of the participants surveyed in Epilepsy Scotland’s study, 54% of respondents said that epilepsy had a "significant impact" on their mental health, with 46% stating that they have anxiety, and one in three have depression.
Commenting ahead of his debate this afternoon, Alasdair Allan MSP, who has epilepsy himself, said:
“Epilepsy is not an uncommon condition. Yet it continues to be a very commonly misunderstood one. And those very same misunderstandings often have a real impact on many people’s wellbeing.
“What Epilepsy Scotland’s report shows clearly is that having a diagnosis of epilepsy can impact on people’s wellbeing in many ways. Not least of these - particularly in rural areas- is the impact that the loss of a driving licence can have on employability, and consequent feelings of isolation.
"I am pleased to say that the sources of information and support for people with epilepsy in Scotland since the days of my own youth, when my epilepsy had not yet been controlled by medication, has increased dramatically. This is in no small measure due to the work of Epilepsy Scotland, as well as through the work of Scotland’s National Epilepsy Centre."