A message from the Encephalitis Society

We wanted to let you know that our media campaign for World Encephalitis Day 2023 will be touching on an area which may lead to difficult emotions for you or someone you know.

This is something which we have thought long and hard about, but believe it is something that must be highlighted to ensure people who become poorly with encephalitis get the best care possible.

As some of you reading this will know, encephalitis can sometimes have a detrimental effect on mental health.

Sometimes this can happen early on when people are in what is called the acute stage of the illness, when they are very poorly.  Other times the injury to the brain, the experience of being very poorly or the other difficulties left by encephalitis can make it difficult later on to deal with emotions, feelings and behaviours.  Sometimes this can lead to thoughts about self-harm or even, in some cases, suicide.

Working with medical and scientist colleagues, we have new research that highlights this impact on the mental health of those suffering or recovering from encephalitis.

This research – which some of you may have contributed to – is what we will be sharing with the media on World Encephalitis Day.

We believe that by talking about mental health and encephalitis, we can shine a light on the fact that these feelings can be preventable and, in most cases, highly treatable.  There is also a need for mental health issues in people with or recovering from encephalitis to be better recognised by healthcare professionals.  The more neurologists, doctors, nurses, and family members know that encephalitis can negatively impact on mental health - the better they will know to look out for the signs.

We also recognise that mental health issues can impact family members. The research we are promoting doesn’t cover this topic on this occasion, but we wanted to assure you that we are also mindful of this.

So, if you see an interview about World Encephalitis Day this year, you may read or hear some difficult words or statistics that may trigger feelings or memories about your own encephalitis journey.  Please reach out to us for help as there is lots of support there to help deal with these feelings. If you want to talk with any of our support team about this or any other issue resulting from encephalitis, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

With very best wishes,

The Encephalitis Society

Please know that our support team are here for you. Contact them via email [email protected]; by calling +44(0)1653 699599 or thought our chat online facility www.encephalitis.info