Spotlight on Online Support in Orange County California

CHOC Nurses

Epilepsy News From:

Monday, June 8, 2020

The Epilepsy Foundation Orange County (EFOC) has served the nearly 40,000 people living with epilepsy and their families in the county since July 2019. EFOC is led by Executive Director Shannon Abdul-Wahab. Shannon has lived with epilepsy since childhood.

EFOC adjusted to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic by moving resources for the community online. Find out how they adjusted and what’s next for EFOC.

Providing Virtual Online Support

As Californians were asked to stay at home for non-essential travel, EFOC immediately started 4

Kids Support Group

virtual weekly support groups for their community. These groups aimed to serve different members of the epilepsy community in Orange County, California. They include:

  • It Takes a Village: Support group for parents
  • A Place & Some Space: Support group for adults with epilepsy
  • Kids Crew Craziness: Support group for kids with epilepsy
  • Headspace: Support group for teens

“The most popular groups were for adults and parents,” Shannon said.

EFOC shifted the groups for kids and teens to monthly in June 2020.

Managing Epilepsy Well Programs

Starting in July, EFOC will start offering Project UPLIFT (Using Practice and Learning to Increase Favorable Thoughts) in July. This program is supported by the Managing Epilepsy Well Network (MEW).

Project UPLIFT is an 8-week program delivered over the phone and uses cognitive behavioral and mindfulness therapies to reduce depressive symptoms in people with epilepsy and improve depression self-management.

EFOC is currently accepting signups for their HOBSCOTCH (Home Based Self-Management and Cognitive Training Changes Live) program. This training is delivered in person and by phone to teach people with epilepsy memory skills and how to use problem-solving therapy to improve memory and attention.

To join the program, please email

Virtual Events to Provide Connection and Support

When COVID-19 hit, EFOC was in the middle of planning several exciting Kids Crew events that were no longer possible. This included a trip to Disneyland and a Dodgers’ game. While losing these opportunities were disappointing, EFOC wasted no time to find other ways to engage their community.

To stay connected, EFOC hosted a variety of virtual events including a comedy night and an art therapy event for adults and kids. They will also have their first ever virtual summer camp in July.

The #WOMENSTRONG: Epilepsy & Wellness Expo is currently rescheduled for May 1, 2021.

Innovations in Epilepsy Daily Webinar Series

From June 15-19, 2020, EFOC will be hosting a week of daily webinars on topics related to epilepsy. Topics will include:

  • Telemedicine during COVID-19
  • The latest in epilepsy research
  • What’s new in epilepsy treatment
  • Transitions of care
  • Telehealth for cognitive challenges
  • Dietary therapies

Showing Support to Local Nurses

For National Nurses Day on May 6, EFOC provided lunches to nurses at all four epilepsy centers in Orange County.

“It was super special, and thanks to an amazing donor, we were able to make this happen,” Shannon said.

More About EFOC

Thank you to Epilepsy Foundation Orange County for your virtual support groups and expansion of Managing Epilepsy Well programs for your community!

Authored by: Liz Dueweke MPH on 6/2020

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

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