Group 2 at Scottish Parliament with Steven Connelly (no logo)

Some of Group 2 outside the Scottish Parliament, June 2018

As we come to the end of Group Two I have been spending time with everyone on a one to one basis,  reflecting on their own personal highlights and finding out the biggest things they have learned about themselves and their epilepsy.

One of the things that strikes me is how many knock on effects there are for participants, and how other people in their lives are noticing these, including partners, friends and family members.

These include

  • improved communication
  • more assertiveness and confidence
  • better sense of personal well being
  • rediscovery of a sense of self

When  new participants turn up to Epilepsy Futures, the only thing they have in common  is a diagnosis of epilepsy. Some will have lived with this for decades, others will have been diagnosed more recently in adulthood.

As I’ve touched upon in other posts, these situations bring with them their own losses and adjustments. and being in the company of others who have epilepsy can bring about huge learning in itself.

Having a safe, supportive place where people understand who you are and why you might behave as you do is so invaluable to help participants grow, and it’s causes different reactions when the participants realise that their programme is ending.

My conversations with participants have been as much about helping them figure out what they will be doing next and how they will handle the end of their group, as human beings all handle loss and change differently.

They have different plans with some exploring volunteering opportunities, or enrolling for a college course.

Others have made appointments to explore an employabilty option of their choice, and though their time with Epilepsy Futures is ending, they can continue to access other supports we provide here at Epilepsy Connections, as well as all the many services and organisations we have visited as a group.

Some will keep in contact with each other, others will drift away, but we hope that they will continue to make use of all they have learned.

Today is our evaluation session and I am looking forward to helping the group reflect on all the many things we have explored over the last six months.

There will be another post to mark their graduation tomorrow, ahead of Group 3 starting on 6th November.

Peter Dale