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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wednesday Without Words promotes Aphasia awareness

Released 15/09/2009

Despite up to one third of people experiencing aphasia after they have had a stroke, there is very little community awareness of the condition, ACT Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher MLA said today.

The Minister was speaking in support of Wednesday Without Words - a national awareness day being held on the 16th of September during National Stroke Week to try to improve community knowledge of the condition.

"Aphasia is a communication difficulty caused by trauma to the brain, often as a result of stroke," Ms Gallagher said.

"People with the condition can have difficulties speaking, understanding, reading and writing. They may experience significant changes to their quality of life which impacts on their relationships, employment opportunities and ability to engage more broadly in the community. But aphasia is a potentially treatable condition."

Ms Gallagher said ACT Health provided treatment services for patients diagnosed with aphasia in both the acute intervention and rehabilitation phases of care.

"Speech Pathologists within ACT Health Acute Support, and Aged Care and Rehabilitation Services also actively liaise with the Australian Aphasia Association to ensure the provision of evidenced-based speech pathology, and to support patients and families adapting to life with aphasia."

ACT Health speech pathologists are supporting Wednesday Without Words with a foyer display at Canberra Hospital, a whole of government email providing an ‘experience aphasia' activity and a hosted morning tea with clients of Talkback - a supported conversation program to provide social interaction for clients with chronic aphasia.

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