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Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego Our Programs

Introducing #MyEpilepsySDStory

We’re excited to mark International Epilepsy Day 2024 with the launch of #MyEpilepsySDStory, our new, year-round initiative that provides a platform for people in San Diego who are impacted by epilepsy to share their experience, and to see it alongside testimonies from others in the county affected by epilepsy.

Sharing our stories and seeing them together has healing and transformative power. Anyone who lives in San Diego County and is impacted by epilepsy is welcome to submit their story through our #MyEpilepsySDStory form. Once reviewed for appropriateness, submitted stories are added to the #MyEpilepsySDStory collection.

“It’s so important and special for me to have a community where I feel understood, and at the same time, feel I can help and support others,” shared Lisa, a member of EFSDC’s community who often attends our free, virtual monthly support groups. Lisa’s story is one of three narratives already available to read in our #MyEpilepsySDStory collection.

“Meeting friends and other people with epilepsy has made me feel less alone.”

If you have epilepsy, or are a parent, caretaker, relative, friend, teacher or coworker of someone who lives with epilepsy, your experience has meaning—especially to those who feel pressure to mask their journey. If we can speak and carry our truths together, we can shape a world that enables everyone impacted by epilepsy to thrive. Add your story to our collection today!

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Our Programs

Servicios y Programas de Apoyo en Español

Servicios y Programas de Apoyo en Español

La Fundación para la Epilepsia de San Diego reconoce la necesidad de mejorar la calidad de vida y de extender los esfuerzos y el apoyo a todas las familias hispanas afectadas por la epilepsia. Nuestro personal bilingüe brinda servicios a familias de habla hispana. Estos servicios incluyen grupos de apoyo para personas con epilepsia, padres y cuidadores; terapia individual y familiar; capacitación en primeros auxilios; becas escolores; musicoterapia para niños y adolescentes; y materiales educativos que están disponibles para la comunidad hispana en general.

Grupo de Apoyo de Habla Hispana 

¿Tiene epilepsia o conoce a alguien con epilepsia? Están invitados a participar en el foro abierto para la discusión, intercambio de información, y apoyo entre pares, (combinado con oradores invitados ocasionales) con la Fundación de Epilepsia de San Diego.

Cuándo: el 1er Jueves de cada mes a las 6pm 

Para mas información y servicios, contacte a Gladis Arana, MSW, Gerente de Programas y Servicios al Cliente, al (619) 296-0161 ext. 104 o envienos un email gladis@epilepsysandiego.org 

¿Usted o un ser querido fue diagnosticado con epilepsia?

Puede ser una sorpresa que usted o uno de sus seres queridos tenga epilepsia o algún otro trastorno epiléptico. Es probable que usted o su ser querido se sientan confundidos o preocupados, incluso si es difícil aceptar el diagnóstico. Estamos seguros de que tendrás muchas preguntas al respecto. Es por eso que estamos aquí, para poner la información a su alcance y guiarlo hacia la mejor atención y recursos disponibles. Nuestro programa también puede ayudar a conectarle con otros que pueden entenderle y ayudarle. Usted también podría ayudar a otros.

Epilepsias – Cosas importantes que se deben conocer
Tener buena información le ayudará mucho en su camino. Aquí le presentamos algunos puntos muy importantes. 

  1. Los ataques y las epilepsias son mucho más comunes de lo que la mayoría de la gente piensa. A lo largo de toda la vida, 1 de cada 10 personas tendrá un ataque, y 1 de cada 26 serán diagnosticadas con epilepsia. Aproximadamente el 1% de la población (aproximadamente 65 millones) viven con epilepsia en todo el mundo.
  2. La mayoría de los ataques o crisis epilépticas cumplen criterios para ser llamados “epilepsia”. Hay diferentes tipos de epilepsias y afectan a mujeres y hombres de todas las edades, razas y grupos sociales.
  3. Las crisis epilépticas tienen su origen en el cerebro, y todo cerebro puede tener crisis, por eso todo el mundo necesita saber cómo dar los primeros auxilios.
  4. No todos los ataques tienen se manifiestan de la misma forma. Hay muchos tipos de ataques o crisis – algunos son convulsivos y algunos no son convulsivos y pueden ser tan breves como quedarse con la mirada fija. Es importante ser capaz de reconocer diferentes ataques y saber cómo brindar primeros auxilios apropiados.
  5. Las crisis epilépticas pueden ser controladas con medicamentos, terapias dietéticas, tratamiento quirúrgico, cambios de estilo de vida y con dispositivos implantados en el cuerpo. Sin embargo, actualmente no existen tratamientos completamente curativos. Las investigaciones para nuevos tratamientos siguen cada día.
  6. Algunas epilepsias remiten o desaparecen por sí solas y la mayoría de las personas con epilepsia pueden controlar sus crisis siempre que sigan un tratamiento adecuado.
  7. Todos pueden ayudar si saben reconocer los diferentes tipos de crisis y ayudar dando primeros auxilios apropiados.
  8. Todo el mundo puede marcar la diferencia en la lucha para acabar con la epilepsia.

Contamos con información y recursos para que pueda aprender más acerca de las epilepsias en general, acerca de su tipo de epilepsia, cómo manejar sus crisis, y sobre cómo abogar por sí mismo o por su ser querido.

 

Nuestra Misión

Con su ayuda, la Fundación de Epilepsia del Condado de San Diego mejora la vida de las personas afectadas por la epilepsia a través de la educación, la abogacía, la investigación y la conexión.

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Our Programs

Epilepsy Support Groups

Epilepsy Support Groups

Description: Open forum for anyone who has epilepsy or loves someone with epilepsy. There will be discussion, information sharing and peer support, mixed with occasional guest speakers.

When: 1st Thursday of every month

Time: 6-7 PM

Where: Zoom

Contact: Sarah Waters, Programs Manager –  619.296.0161 x103 or email sarah@epilepsysandiego.org

Description: Open forum for discussion, information sharing and peer support.

When: 2nd Thursday of every month

Time: 12-1 PM

Where: Zoom

Contact: Sarah Waters, Programs Manager –  619.296.0161 x103 or email sarah@epilepsysandiego.org

Description: Open forum for adults with epilepsy for discussion, information sharing and peer support.

When: 3rd Thursday of every month

Time: 12-1 PM

Where: Zoom

Contact: Sarah Waters, Programs Manager –  619.296.0161 x103 or email sarah@epilepsysandiego.org

Description: Open forum for the epilepsy community to learn about various wellness, stress management, mindfulness, and self-nurturing practices to cultivate a sense of well-being and thrive.

When: 4th Thursday of every month

Time: 6-7 PM

Where: Zoom

Contact: Sarah Waters, Programs Manager –  619.296.0161 x103 or email sarah@epilepsysandiego.org

 

The Epilepsy Foundation of America is offering a Young Adult Bereavement Virtual Support Group.

Description: If you have lost a sibling due to epilepsy, you’re not alone. Join the Young Adult Bereavement Virtual Support Group for people ages 18-26 and connect with others who have experienced the same loss.

When: 3rd Tuesday of every month

Time: 4 PM

Where: Zoom

Registration is required and those who are interested can sign-up using this link: https://bit.ly/3lEnBdd

¿Tiene epilepsia o conoce a alguien con epilepsia? Están invitados a participar en el foro abierto para la discusión, intercambio de información, y apoyo entre pares, (combinado con oradores invitados ocasionales) con la Fundación de Epilepsia de San Diego.

Cuándo: el 1er Jueves de cada mes a las 6pm.

Contacto: Gladis Arana, Programas en Español – (619) 296-0161 x104 o correo electrónico Gladis@epilepsysandiego.org

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Our Programs

School Nurse Training

School Nurse Training

In coordination with the San Diego Department of Education, Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County provides trainings to school nurses interested in learning how to assist students experiencing seizures. 

Trainings are available in person and on Zoom. To schedule, please contact Kelley Grimes, MSW at kelley@epilepsysandiego.org or (619) 296-0161 ext. 102.

Participants will learn:

  • The impact of seizures on learning and behavior.
  • Current treatment options and their side effects.
  • Simple strategies for creating a more positive and supportive environment.
  • Critical issues related to medication administration.
  • Key components of a seizure action plan.
  • Appropriate first aid for all seizure types.
  • The essential elements of seizure training for school personnel.
  • Steps you can take now to help maximize educational and developmental opportunities for students with seizures.
 

District & School Plan Connection:

The Managing Students with Seizures program addresses the LCAP priority area of Student Engagement (School Attendance Rates).

Each participant will receive free workshop materials.

CEU units are available.

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Our Programs

Seizure First Aid Training

Seizure First Aid Training

Professionals, people with epilepsy, their caregivers and the general public can learn more about epilepsy, seizures and seizure first aid. The more people learn and gain skills about epilepsy and seizures, the more confident we can be that people living with epilepsy will be surrounded by caregivers and professionals that understand how to respond to their seizures.

Cost

Free

Register

National LIVE Webinars or On-Demand Training

Contact

For more information about seizure first aid training, please contact Sarah Waters, Programs Manager at sarah@epilepsysandiego.org or
(619) 296-0161 ext. 103.

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Our Programs

Teens Speak Up!

Teens Speak Up!

The Teens Speak Up! & Public Policy Institute (TSU-PPI) is the Foundation’s signature advocacy initiative. This biennial conference brings together more than 175 advocates, including local Epilepsy Foundation office staff, families, health care providers and volunteers from across the country to make a difference. Teens living with epilepsy and a family member have the opportunity to visit the nation’s capital to receive advocacy training and meet with their lawmakers to share their experiences and discuss issues that are vital to the epilepsy community.

These passionate young advocates help to represent the 470,000 children living with epilepsy when they go up on Capitol Hill. It is also an incredible opportunity for teens – and their families – to connect with each other. Each teen is asked to turn their training into action in their respective home districts through a Year of Service. Through this program, participants learn the latest about epilepsy, their rights and governmental happenings and help strengthen our nationwide advocacy network.

Contact Us

For more information about this program, please contact Sarah Waters, Programs Manager at sarah@epilepsysandiego.org or (619) 296-0161 ext. 103.

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Our Programs

College Scholarships

College Scholarships

The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County provides scholarships ranging from $250 – $2,000 annually to multiple college undergraduates. The Foundation also manages two in-memoriam scholarships:

  • The Michael Zapoticzny Memorial Scholarship, established in 2002, is named for 18-year-old Michael Zapoticzny, who passed away in 2001, from epilepsy during his freshman year at Rutgers University in New Jersey. His parents Steve and Sue Zapoticzny award up to $6,000 annually to one college undergraduate in Michael’s honor. 
  • The Kim Tallian Memorial Scholarship, established in 2024, will award $2,000 annually through 2028 to one college undergraduate. The scholarship honors the late Kim Tallian, PharmD, APh, BCPP, FASHP, FCCP, FCSHP who served on the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County’s Board of Director’s and Professionally Advisory Board. Kim was a speaker at many epilepsy conferences, teacher and school nurse trainings and Camp Quest.

2024-25 Academic Year Scholarships

Due May 1, 2024

Completed applications can be emailed to Sarah Waters at sarah@epilepsysandiego.org

Eligibility

Scholarship applicants must be permanent residents of San Diego County, Imperial County or Southern Riverside County. Applicants may be enrolled in a school outside of these areas.  Scholarship applicants must also meet one of the following criteria:

1. Students currently being treated for epilepsy that are currently enrolled or will be enrolled in a college, university or trade school in the fall of 2024.  Applicants must provide a letter from their doctor verifying that they are currently being treated for epilepsy/seizure disorder.  Applicants must also show satisfactory academic performance and demonstrate financial need. (The criteria for “satisfactory academic performance” does not necessarily mean high GPA.  It will be considered according to the capabilities of the student given any learning disabilities, medication side effects, etc.).

OR

2. Full-time college or university students involved in epilepsy research projects in the fields of health or social science. Applicants must provide a letter from their professor documenting project details. Students must also have a GPA of at least 3.0 for all work completed and demonstrate financial need.

The following documents must be included in the application package:

  1. Completed scholarship application
  2. Community Service and Volunteer Experience/Academic Achievements
  3. Statement of Eligibility
  4. Statement of Financial Need
  5. Current Transcript (official or unofficial) verifying enrollment and GPA
  6. Letter from your doctor stating you are currently being treated for epilepsy OR letter from your professor stating you are currently working on an epilepsy research project (please include project details)
  7. Two Letters of Recommendation

For more information and to apply, please contact Sarah Waters, Programs & Client Services Manager at sarah@epilepsysandiego.org.

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Our Programs

Music Therapy for Kids & Teens

Music Therapy for Kids & Teens

We partner with Resounding Joy, a local music therapy non-profit, to provide recreational music therapy for kids and teens impacted by epilepsy.

Format

6 group Zoom sessions over an 6-week period Zoom sessions last one hour

Participants

Kids & Teens, ages 11-18 with epilepsy

Contact

For more information about this program, please contact Sarah Waters, Programs Manager at sarah@epilepsysandiego.org or (619) 296-0161 ext. 103.

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Project UPLIFT

What is Project
UPLIFT?

Project UPLIFT (Using Practice and Learning to Increase Favorable Thoughts) is an 8-week home-based depression treatment program designed for adults with epilepsy. UPLIFT is delivered virtually on Zoom by a trained mental health facilitator and by a person with epilepsy. The program combines proven techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with mindfulness. The goal of mindfulness is to help people change their relationship to their thoughts by viewing thoughts as passing events that do not necessarily represent reality.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
CBT is a form of psychotherapy that teaches individuals new ways to manage their thoughts and feelings. It focuses on internal (e.g., looking at problems, thinking about yourself and others, and thinking about personal beliefs) and external changes (problem-solving skills, stress management, communication skills, life management skills, and skill to develop and maintain relationships). In addition, unlike medication, CBT provides skills that remain after the treatment ends.

Session

Tuesdays
April 2–May 21, 2024
1:00–2:00 PM
Zoom

Participants

Adults with epilepsy

(5-7 participants per Zoom group)

Benefits

+Increased knowledge and skills
+Reduced symptoms of depression
+Increased satisfaction with life

Contact

For more information about this program, please contact Sarah Waters, Programs Manager at sarah@epilepsysandiego.org or (619) 296-0161 ext. 103.

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Support Services & Programs

Support Services & Programs

We know that navigating life with epilepsy can be at times mentally challenging as well as physically. That’s why we offer support services like counseling and more for individuals, families and caregivers.

General Support Services

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Learn More About the services that we offer and how we can help you.
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Additional Support Services For Adults

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Learn More About the services that we offer and how we can help you.
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Additional Support Services for Children & Teens

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Learn More About the services that we offer and how we can help you.
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Epilepsy Education and Seizure First Aid

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Learn More About the services that we offer and how we can help you.
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For more information about any of our support services and programs, contact Sarah Waters, Programs Manager at sarah@epilepsysandiego.org or (619) 296-0161 ext. 103.