Epilepsy remains one of the most stigmatised and under-resourced health conditions globally. It’s time to change the narrative and build a more inclusive and understanding society.

Image: Epilepsy WA

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy, a condition marked by seizures, affects more people than we realise. In fact, 1 in 10 individuals will experience a seizure at some point in their lives, with 1 in 25 being diagnosed with epilepsy. Epilepsy can affect anyone at any time, often without a clear cause. 

While some cases may stem from genetic factors or birth complications, others may result from head injuries or strokes. To be diagnosed with epilepsy, individuals typically need to have experienced at least two unprovoked seizures. However, the journey to diagnosis involves various tests to confirm the condition. 

The impact on families

Epilepsy doesn’t just affect the individual diagnosed; it impacts the entire family. Research suggests that parents of children with epilepsy may experience PTSD at a rate as high as one in four. It’s really important that we acknowledge that there’s a lot of Western Australians who are doing it tough and their families who are living with this condition.” Said the CEO of Epilepsy WA, Emma Buitendag.

Epilepsy WA stands as a beacon of support for individuals and families grappling with epilepsy. From providing educational resources to organising support groups and helplines, they offer a lifeline for those navigating the complexities of the condition.

Image: Epilepsy WA

Epilepsy Awareness Month

March isn’t just another month; it’s Epilepsy Awareness Month. This is a time for us to rally together and bring epilepsy out of the shadows. On the 1st of March Epilepsy WA will be having a free conference with talks from expert neurologists, epileptologists, neuropsychiatrists and people living with epilepsy. You can get tickets to the conference on their website.

On Sunday March 17 join hundreds of colourful families and fun teams dressing up in purple for Perth’s annual big Purple Walk 4 Epilepsy WA and Family Fun Day at Curtin University to raise vital funds for the charity’s support services – register at

March 26 is Purple Day approximately 50 landmarks around WA will light up in purple as part of Purple Lights 4 Epilepsy WA – including Optus Stadium, Kings Park, Yagan Square, the Bell Tower and Matagarup Bridge in Perth. Purple-lit ports, bridges and buildings in Fremantle, Rockingham, Mandurah, Bunbury and Albany are among statewide highlights – see the full list of city and regional purple lights here.

For more in-depth conversations with experts, listen to Table Talk with Leah every weekday from 9 am- 12 pm.