Epilepsy Foundation Funding Campaign
Funding Campaign to Protect Your Epilepsy Support Services
Living with an ongoing and chronic condition such as epilepsy can be physically and emotionally debilitating. That is why we strive to ensure the wider Epilepsy community does not have to go it alone.
The Epilepsy Foundation’s vision is that people with epilepsy have equitable access to education and employment, feel safe and connected in their community and no longer die from epilepsy.
From education to specialist advice or just being there on the end of the phone when you need someone to talk to – The Epilepsy Foundation provides the specialist support and connectivity that is lacking in the general medical community.
Services are at risk
Unfortunately the provision of the information and support services so many of you rely on is at risk of being severely diminished. The Epilepsy Foundation relies heavily on the State Government’s $1.2Million recurrent funding to deliver essential services tailored to Victorians living with Epilepsy including:
- understanding diagnosis, impacts, risks and management strategies
- treatment options
- memory impacts
- treatment impacts (medication side effects, surgery side effects)
- health information
- Information line
- peer support activities
- research, development and delivery of Epilepsy resources
- education and information
Over the past 16 months, the Epilepsy Foundation has been part of an alliance of four state-based neurological organisations lobbying the Victorian Government to reverse its decision to withdraw Health Information funding, effective from 1 July 2019.
This funding is provided under the umbrella of Disability Services. However, with the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), this State Government money is being redirected to the NDIS.
While the NDIS will support a small percentage of people living with Epilepsy the majority will be ineligible for funded services. This will leave neurological agencies including the Epilepsy Foundation without the core funding needed to provide the vital services so many of you have come to rely on during your journey with epilepsy.
Unfortunately, this unintended consequence of the NDIS will impact on some 80,000 Victorians living with chronic neurological conditions, including many of the 63,000 living with Epilepsy.
In an endeavour to resolve the issue, The Neurological Alliance (Epilepsy, Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s) have asked for the State Government to recognise these conditions as health-related.
Epilepsy is a neurological health condition. As such, we have been calling on the State Government to continue its funding to ensure Victorians with Epilepsy will not lose access to condition-specific, tailored health information, education and peer support programs.
We remain committed to ensuring the needs of people living with Epilepsy, and all those who care for them, are heard. We continue to meet with key government Ministers, MPs, advisors, opposition candidates and community partners to lobby for ongoing funding for our organisation and the community we support.
We know that individuals can have a powerful influence on Government. That is why The Epilepsy Foundation is now asking you, our community, to help lobby the State Government and State Opposition to continue to support vital services.
We need your help – Contact your local MP- Voice your concern
The Victorian election will take place on 24th November 2018. The lead up to an election is a critical time for people to share opinions with their local Members of Parliament (MPs) about what matters most to them.
If you are concerned about withdrawal of State Government funding of your Epilepsy-specific health services, we ask you to get in touch with your local MP as soon as possible to raise awareness of the impacts of Epilepsy and why ongoing funding of these services are critical to you.
You can do this by asking to meet with them, writing them a letter or sending an email.
If you need more support a downloadable Funding for Victorians Living with Epilepsy Campaign Kit has been developed.
How to find your local member
You can find local MPs’ names, contact details, biographies and ways to get in touch with them at www.parliament.vic.gov.au/about/people-in-parliament/members-search/search-members
For more information, epilepsy support or assistance to identify your local MP call us on 1300 761 487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org