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Charity warns of 'desperate need for support' for stroke survivors in Wales

Credit: Stroke Association

Stroke survivors in Wales are in "desperate need of support" as study finds more than three quarters report issues with mental health.

Research by the Stroke Association found 76% of stroke survivors in Wales reported issues with depression, anxiety, a lack of confidence, mood swings or even suicidal thoughts.

The charity is now calling for more support for those who have experienced a stroke.

The findings suggest with the right support 96% of people felt like they were on the road to recovery. Credit: PA

More than a quarter of the 600 respondents in Wales say they had not received enough emotional support to help rebuild their lives.

The charity estimates there are currently almost 70,000 stroke survivors in Wales.

Of stroke survivors in Wales:

94%
reported experiencing at least one cognitive effect after their stroke.
81%
reported memory problems.

The Stroke Association is now working with the National Assembly for Wales’ Cross Party Group on the delivery of a Stroke Delivery Plan.

The Stroke Delivery Plan sets out how care will look for stroke survivors in Wales. Credit: PA

The charity described the figures as "extremely concerning" and called for more support.

This report exposes the true devastation stroke can bring. These figures are extremely concerning, and show a desperate need for support to cope with the hidden, and often overlooked, effects of stroke. Far too many lives have been destroyed by stroke, and no-one should be left feeling suicidal. The evidence highlights how important it is that families, friends and health professionals who support stroke survivors understand what it means to live with these ‘hidden effects’, ask how people are feeling, and provide appropriate emotional and psychological support.

– Carol Bott, Director of the Stroke Association in Wales

Spotting the symptoms of a stroke can be remembered using the acronym F.A.S.T

  • Face: the face may have dropped on 1 side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.
  • Arms: the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in 1 arm.
  • Speech: their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you're saying to them.
  • Time: it's time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.
  • Source: NHS

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