Make May Purple for Stroke Awareness

Over 1 million people in England have had a stroke. For many people having a stroke is a life changing experience. May is Stroke Awareness Month so we are sharing everything you need to know.

Act F.A.S.T. Call 999.

You will have probably seen the campaign from Public Health England on TV promoting F.A.S.T . This is a quick and effective way of remembering what to do if you suspect someone is having a stroke.

What does F.A.S.T stand for?

F – Facial weakness. Can the person smile?

A – Arm weakness. Can the person raise both arms?

S – Speech problems. Can the person speak clearly?

T – Time to call 999 if they have any of these signs.

Getting medical attention quickly is really important. The first 3 hours following the first signs of a stroke are crucial so acting FAST and getting help is a priority.

What is a Stroke?

A stroke is a brain attack. It happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off. It can be caused by:

  • a blockage or
  • a bleed

Without blood, your brain cells can be damaged or destroyed and they won't be able to do their job.

What are the signs of a stroke?

  • dropping eyes, mouth, arms, legs
  • blurred vision
  • slurred speech
  • confusion
  • weakness, numbness or paralysis
  • loss of consciousness
  • dizziness
  • sudden severe headache

Please note that not everyone will experience the same or show signs of all symptoms.

What can I do to prevent a stroke?

The majority of strokes are preventable. There are lifestyle decisions that we all make that can influence or increase our risks of having a stroke. Here are seven things you can do to reduce your own risk of stroke:

  1. Manage your medical conditions properly
  2. Stop smoking
  3. Drink less alcohol
  4. Maintain a healthy weight
  5. Do more exercise
  6. Eat a healthy diet
  7. Reduce your stress levels


Have you had a stroke? Do you look after someone who has had a stroke?

What was your treatment like? Do you get the support you need now?

Your story can help improve the service for other people

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Have you or someone you know had a stroke previously? Would you like to share your personal experiences of stroke or how your treatment went? We value all feedback, and you can share your experiences with us here

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