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Public lack confidence in supporting people with epilepsy - new poll shows

A new poll has revealed that there is a worrying lack of public confidence in knowing how to help someone who is having a seizure.

Published by YouGov in partnership with Epilepsy Society and Young Epilepsy, the poll of more than 2,000 people showed:

  • Almost two thirds (61%) of people with no experience of epilepsy would not feel confident in helping someone with epilepsy
  • More than a quarter (26%) of people with a family member with the condition would not feel confident in dealing with a seizure.
  • Confidence increases with age: 29% of UK adults aged 18-24 would feel confident of dealing with a seizure, but this figure rises to 50% among 45- 54 year olds.

The YouGov survey has been carried out as part of the charities' Everyone Knows Someone campaign #explainepilepsy which aims to raise awareness of epilepsy across the UK during National Epilepsy Week (14-20 May 2017).

The campaign is being run in conjunction with high street fashion retailer River Island and is supported by household names from the world of entertainment and sport who spoke about their experiences of epilepsy at a special event to launch the campaign.

Actors Kerry Howard (BBC Three's Him & Her, and sister of comedian Russell Howard) and Amazon Prime's Vikings star Jennie Jacques both spoke about having a sibling with epilepsy; S Club Junior singer Stacey McClean spoke about her mum's epilepsy; and footballer Leon Legge explained the importance of telling teammates about his epilepsy.

Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition in the UK, affecting 600,000 people. One in 100 people have epilepsy and 87 are diagnosed with it every day.

Chief executive at Young Epilepsy, Carol Long said:

Epilepsy is an incredibly complex condition and raising awareness is crucial. We are working with young people to empower them to talk about their condition and tackle the stigma that comes from a lack of understanding.

This campaign helps us to recognise that everyone does know someone with epilepsy. The average Facebook user has 150 friends, with one in a hundred diagnosed with epilepsy they will know at least one person with the condition.

You can hear Kerry, Jennie, Stacey, Leon and other young people talking about their experience of epilepsy at

Find out how to help someone during a seizure

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Cyber EssentialsFundraising RegulatorYoung Epilepsy is the operating name of The National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy Charitable Trust.
Registered Charity number 311877 (England and Wales)

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