Help us tackle mental health challenges this World Encephalitis Day

This World Encephalitis Day, we are raising awareness about the links between encephalitis and mental health. 

People can experience significant detrimental impact on their mental health before, during and after the acute phase of encephalitis. Mental health issues may occur due to the symptoms of the physical condition itself, or the wider negative impact it has on their life, such as newly acquired disability.

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Iram's life after encephalitis

For 16-year-old Iram, life was completely different to how it used to be. She found that when she eventually returned to school, a lot of her old friends were distant with her. Her confidence was low, so she found the process of making new friends quite challenging.  

As a result of encephalitis, Iram has been left with severe epilepsy. She told us about how she often has to be accompanied by her parents to places in case she has a seizure.

There are some times where I just feel sad because I see people that I know and they're my age and they're by themselves. They're not with their mum or their dad: they can go outside by themselves and not worry about having a seizure or an episode.

Before encephalitis, Iram enjoyed sports and activities but now there are a lot of physical activities she can no longer do.

When I found out I had encephalitis and epilepsy, I’m not really allowed to do sport type things, and so that had to be stripped away from me. And to start with that was a really big chunk that was taken away.

To fill the gap that sport left behind, Iram turned to playing her guitar. Music gave her a lifeline, and she spent hours listening, playing and even writing her own music.  

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Finding friends at the family weekend 

Iram and her parents attended our latest Family Weekend in September 2022. There, Iram was able to take part in a range of outdoor activities, supervised by qualified instructors and in an inclusive environment.  

The weekend is for families who have been affected by encephalitis; whether a parent or child. It provides an amazing opportunity for people who have been through similar experiences to connect. 

Following the weekend, 84% of attendees said that the experience had made them feel more connected and less isolated. 

The Encephalitis Society provides a life line 

Encephalitis affects one person every minute globally, yet 77% of people do not know what it is. This lack of awareness leads to delays in diagnosis and treatment; poorer outcomes for patients and can lead to feelings of isolation.  

Our support services connect with people in many ways; from support groups and in-person events to support line calls and information. In 2022 we helped over 300,000 people all over the world. 

But none of this would be possible without you.  

A donation from you today will help fund our support services; from one-to-one support calls through to our gatherings and events like Family Weekend. You can help aid people in their recovery, reduce isolation and help them make meaningful connections.

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