Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) Awareness Day – What is it?
International Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) Awareness Day is a day of the year dedicated to spreading awareness and education regarding individuals who are living with Functional Neurological Disorder. The FND Hope organization created this promotional health day and dedicated April 13th to be FND Awareness Day every year! This year will be the 7th annual International FND Awareness Day. The theme is #LetsTalkFND, in support of starting the conversation around functional neurological disorders versus turning a blind eye for fear of making those with FNDs uncomfortable. Get involved by using the hashtag #LetsTalkFND on your social media accounts, spreading education to those around us surrounding FND, and supporting those with FND in maintaining independence through personal and occupational fulfillment.
What is an FND?
FND is the result of functioning problems within the central nervous system. Its symptoms are thought to derive from the brain’s inability to send and receive signals properly. The brain of a patient with Functional Neurological Disorder is structurally normal but functions incorrectly. Symptoms can cause an impairment in quality of life that is similar to, and in some aspects worse than, patients with Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Muscle weakness,
- Movement disorders,
- Sensory issues such as sight and sensation
FND is not likely to ever completely disappear from an individual who has the disorder, however, physiotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy can help an individual with FND live a more fulfilling life.
FND in the Workplace
Just because someone has been diagnosed with a Functional Neurological Disorder, it does not mean they have to change every aspect of their lives and being. Many people with FNDs continue to live fulfilling lives through work, personal lives and more! As an employer, it’s important to have awareness that these types of health concerns can occur to any employee at any time – it’s important to be prepared!
- Practice empathy – this is likely a surprising and big change to your employee’s life in many different aspects – try to be as understanding as possible regarding the employee’s new needs
- Know the law around the duty to accommodate – you can read more about it here!
- Ensure you are following accessibility laws! Read more about it here!
- Hire an Occupational Therapist to complete an assessment to determine the employee’s work capabilities, restrictions and possible accommodation needs in order to ensure their success in the workplace!
At Gowan Consulting, we are the leading provider of disability management and Occupational Therapy Services for stay at work/return to work solutions. We have Occupational Therapists who help individuals with disorders and/or disabilities thrive in their work environment. An Occupational Therapist can help an individual who has disabilities, such as FND, to stay at work or return to work with work place tools, work strategies, education, work environment changes and resources. Working with an Occupational Therapist from Gowan Consulting can assist an individual living with disabilities in making their work environment more accessible and accommodating, as well as educating employers and managers on strategies to support employees with specific needs in the workplace. Contact us for more information on how we can assist your workplace!
FND Hope Organization. (2019). International FND Awareness Day. Retrieved from: https://fndhope.org/fnd-aware-2018-2/
Images retrieved from: google.ca/images/FNDAwarenessDay