SUDEP Action

Making every epilepsy death count
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A Blog Post from our Community Services Supervisor

As many of our supporters will know, at the beginning of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the SUDEP Action staff all agreed, that some of our team would be on furlough and others agreed to make a temporary pay sacrifice for the coming months. This was so that we could continue to be here for all our supporters, bereaved families and clinicians during what has been and continues to be and incredibly challenging time.

When I was initially furloughed in May, I think like a lot of people, I spent a few weeks feeling quite fearful, watching a lot of news and generally trying to get my head around the extraordinary change to life we were all facing. As time went on I realised that too much news was perhaps not doing my mental health much good.

I missed my work, the SUDEP Action team and being in touch with our families, supporters and professionals. I thought and wondered often about the impact that hearing every day about unexpected deaths around the country and world, could be having on bereaved families already having to deal with so much. I decided that I wanted to find something to fill my time that would help me keep my mind active but could also help me in supporting families when I re-joined the team.

I found a Grief and Bereavement Counselling Diploma and worked on this during the my two months furlough and was pleased to gain the certificate this week…with distinction! It helped to underpin my existing training and work as part of our experienced and specialised support team led by Tracy. One of the main points that ran through the research and I recognised well from working with our bereaved families, was that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. As individuals we all must do this our own way but that in support of each other, we don’t need to do it alone.

Vicky Masters-Read, Community Services Supervisor