It will come as no surprise to health professionals that stroke is misunderstood. Too few people realise that the condition can strike anyone – young, old and everyone in between. And a recent survey by the Stroke Association found that a quarter (27%) of adults (14 million people) don’t know that strokes occur in the brain, highlighting a nation-wide lack of knowledge around the UK’s fourth biggest killer. This knowledge gap is preventing survivors getting the support they need from those closest to them, and stopping survivors from making the best possible recovery to rebuild their lives after stroke.
Everyone deserves to live the best life they can after stroke. And it’s a team effort to get there. Many stroke survivors tell us how important it is that their loved ones, families and local communities have an understanding of the different ways stroke can change lives in an instant. There are over 1.2 million stroke survivors living in the UK – many of whom are reliant on their friends and family for help with daily living for example, or support with their emotional and mental health needs. A lack of awareness about stroke leaves survivors feeling isolated and misunderstood.
That’s why the Stroke Association has launched its first ever TV and social media led marketing campaign: Rebuilding Lives. We are aiming to showcase the challenges faced by stroke survivors and those who support them with their recoveries. The campaign will change the way people think about stroke, using stroke survivors’ real stories. These stories demonstrate that stroke can strike anyone at any time, changing lives in an instant. They’ll help people understand that a stroke happens in the brain, and that the impact varies depending on which part of the brain is affected. It could be anything from wiping out speech and physical abilities, to affecting emotions and personality.
Crucially, the stroke survivors in our campaign are living proof that life after stroke is possible. Too many people affected by stroke are not getting the support they need. But with the right specialist support and a ton of courage and determination, people can recover.
The Stroke Association is here to support people to rebuild their lives after stroke. Our campaign will inspire everyone to take action and join our growing community. We need to keep challenging these common misconceptions, and make sure stroke is on people’s radar. For more information about the Stroke Association’s Rebuilding Lives campaign, visit www.stroke.org.uk/rebuildinglives.
Achieving our vision of a life free from stroke is a task that WSO cannot achieve alone. We are committed to building our partnerships at the global, regional and national level to scale up and deliver improvements in prevention, treatment and support to reduce the burden of stroke.