What is the Epilepsy Foundation’s Multicultural Outreach Program?

Epilepsy News From: Tuesday, April 23, 2024

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, racial and ethnic minorities represent more than 40% of the 3.4 million people living with epilepsy in the United States. During National Minority Health Month, we recognize the importance of addressing health disparities within minority communities, including those impacted by epilepsy.  

National Minority Health Month discusses the challenges faced by underserved populations in accessing healthcare and achieving good health outcomes. This month also encourages dialogue and advocacy for policies and programs that promote health equity. By focusing on these health issues, we can work towards addressing systemic barriers, improving healthcare access, and empowering everyone to take charge of their health. National Minority Health Month emphasizes the fundamental principle that everyone deserves equitable opportunities for good health, regardless of race, ethnicity, or background.

This year’s theme for National Minority Health Month is “Be the Source for Better Health.” Our Multicultural Outreach Program is an excellent source for achieving better health. The program was designed to help make a difference by providing education and awareness about seizures to underserved communities.

What Does the Multicultural Outreach Program Provide?

The Multicultural Outreach Program addresses the specific needs and challenges faced by underserved communities living with epilepsy. Some examples of what the program provides includes:

  1. Education for Family and Caregivers: Family members and caregivers learn how to recognize seizures and understand treatment options for their loved ones. This is crucial in ensuring that people with epilepsy receive appropriate care and support from the people closest to them.
  2. Promoting Inclusion and Removing Stigma: One of the Epilepsy Foundation’s primary goals is to promote inclusion and improve the quality of life for people with epilepsy by combating stigma associated with the condition. We encourage members of the epilepsy community to share their stories with others to help lessen the stigma of seizures and help others understand that seizures are not something to hide.
  3. Partnerships and Collaborations: Collaborations with organizations like Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), the National Medical Association (NMA), and the National Association of State Offices of Minority Health (NASOHM) have expanded our each and impact. Additionally, we connect with media outlets such as ESSENCE magazine and Black Press newspapers, to disseminate information about epilepsy and treatment options.
  4. Campaigns and Initiatives: Initiatives like the "Strokes to Seizures" campaign in collaboration with the American Stroke Association highlight the connection between strokes and seizures, particularly relevant to the African American community.
  5. Educational Materials: Resources like brochures (e.g., "Epilepsy in the African American Community") and articles in magazines (e.g., Heart and Soul) provide valuable information and support to both the newly diagnosed and veterans of the epilepsy community.

Additional Resources

With this program, the Epilepsy Foundation wants to empower people with epilepsy and their families. We do this by providing the knowledge and resources needed to manage the condition effectively while addressing the societal challenges associated with epilepsy in underserved communities.  

If you or someone you know is living with epilepsy, connect with the Epilepsy Foundation’s local offices to receive additional supportive resources and information.  

Authored by

Kaitlyn Gallagher

Reviewed by

Thometta Cozart MS, MPH, CHES, CPH

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