Friday, 12 July 2013

Emotional Impact of Stroke raised in Parliament

I joined forces with the Stroke Association and stroke survivors from around the country in Parliament this week to help raise awareness of the emotional impact of stroke.

The event was held to highlight the findings of the Stroke Association’s latest report ‘Feeling overwhelmed’ which reveals that many stroke survivors and carers struggle to find the appropriate support to help them cope with the emotional impact of the condition.

There are 1.2 million stroke survivors living in the UK and someone has a stroke every five minutes.   Although a stroke happens in an instant the effects can last a life time, recovery is different for every stroke survivor and their family.   Emotional issues such as depression, anxiety and a lack of confidence are common but the Stroke Association’s report found that almost 80% of stroke survivors surveyed throughout the UK said that had received no information or practical advice to help them cope with the emotional impact of stroke.

I spoke to stroke survivors and carers about their experiences and found out about the free resources available to stroke survivors including the Stroke Association’s ‘You are not alone’ guide which offers practical advice and tips on coping with the emotional effects of stroke.

According to a recent Stroke Association survey around 60% of stroke survivors in the North West had experienced depression and 67% had experienced anxiety as a result of their stroke. Stroke is life changing and the emotional impact can be far reaching. For many the psychological impact can be just as devastating as the physical. Stroke survivors and their carers can feel overwhelmed by worries, fears and emotions as they struggle to cope with the aftermath of stroke.

I want people in our community who are struggling emotionally after stroke to know that they are not alone and that information and support is available. I would encourage stroke survivors, carers and family members to call the Stroke Association’s helpline or visit their website to find out what support is available.

A downloadable copy of the You’re not alone guide is available. Alternatively you can call the Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100 for more information about stroke and the support that is available locally.

I am pictured with Kathleen Playfield  a Family and Carer Support Coordinator for the Stroke Association in Salford (left) and Dr Caroline Kinney a NHS Stroke Clinical Psychologist at Salford Royal NHS Trust (right).

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