Hope in Action: ‘Strong Foundations’ Nurse Support Program Addresses Unique Needs of South Australian Children Battling Epilepsy

Home > Press Releases > Hope in Action: ‘Strong Foundations’ Nurse Support Program Addresses Unique Needs of South Australian Children Battling Epilepsy

Delivery by Telehealth to ensure equal access in city and regions

The call is out for South Australian children with epilepsy to enrol in a life-changing program launched statewide by Epilepsy Action Australia in November.

‘Strong Foundations’ will provide intensive, personalised support from specialist epilepsy Registered Nurses to children and their families, aiming to help them overcome barriers that could hold the child back at each developmental stage.

This essential service will be free of charge to families, thanks to generous funding from the Morialta Charitable Trust.

An estimated 4,022 South Australian children aged 0 to 18 have epilepsy, based on 2021 Census data and epilepsy prevalence. Unfortunately, one-third will continue having seizures despite taking medication. This can cause a range of physical, mental health and social impacts.

Says Epilepsy Action Australia CEO, Carol Ireland, “We hear of children being teased, bullied at school, and left out of community activities like sports and camps through fear they might be hurt having a seizure while taking part.”

“Our program has launched to help families learn how to reduce seizure impacts that can stop a child with epilepsy enjoying the same opportunities to gain skills and independence that other children have.”

When children are registered for Strong Foundations, Epilepsy Action Australia’s Nurses will first arrange a phone or video-call consultation with the child’s family to identify all their challenges from epilepsy. Then they will work with families on service plans and goals to address each issue.

Seizure-management education and step-by-step seizure response plans are also available for family groups and others like school-teachers, helping them safely include a child in more activities.

‘Strong Foundations’ Program Registrations are now open for children with epilepsy aged 0 to 18 and their families from South Australia.

 For more information, to register, or to speak to a specialist Epilepsy Nurse, people of all ages affected by epilepsy can call Epilepsy Action Australia on 1300 37 45 37 (press 1 for the National Epilepsy Line) or email epilepsy@epilepsy.org.au

About Epilepsy Action Australia

Epilepsy Action Australia (EAA) is the largest provider of education and support services to children and adults with epilepsy across Australia. Our vision is optimal living for people with epilepsy, and our team of highly qualified registered nurses and educators is equipped with a rich base of technical expertise, built up over six decades of providing services to the community. www.epilepsy.org.au

Key Epilepsy Facts

  • Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain that affects people of all ages.
  • Approximately 3% to 3.5% of Australians will experience epilepsy at some point in their lives.
  • 4,022 South Australian children aged 0 to 18 have epilepsy, based on 2021 population data and epilepsy prevalence.
  • While seizures can begin at any age, epilepsy is most frequently diagnosed in early childhood, adolescence and in people over 65 years.
  • Children represent around 40% of the population with epilepsy.
  • There are around 40 different types of epilepsy and epilepsy syndromes.
  • With treatment, around 65-70% of people with epilepsy can successfully control their seizures.

For further details please contact:

epilepsy@epilepsy.org.au

For interview contact:

Carol Ireland on 0425 269 312 or email cireland@epilepsy.org.au

Photo available for publication:

Kobe, 4, is one child whose family is thankful for Epilepsy Action Australia’s Nurse Telehealth Support