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Abigail Amador

Interamerican University of Puerto Rico

Short bio:

Dr, Abigaíl Amador Colón obtained her PhD, Magna Cum Laude, in Counseling Psychology at Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. She has plenty of experience in psychological evaluations, individual and group therapy of school age children and adolescents in public schools in Puerto Rico. Dr. Amador Colón has had a variety of work experiences during her long career as a psychologist in Puerto Rico: Case Manager and therapist at San Juan de Capestrano Hospital (a psychiatric hospital); professor and practice supervisor of students at the Graduate Psychology Program of Interamerican University of Puerto Rico; member, reader or chairperson of theses and dissertations at different universities in Puerto Rico; producer and anchor of a radio program about Epilepsy, among others. She is also a prolific presenter al professional Conferences and Convention organized by the Association of Psychology of Puerto Rico (APPR); Association of Caribbean Epilepsy, Puerto Rican Epilepsy Society Puerto Rican Union of Qualitative Research; HIMA San Pablo Hospital, Ana G. Méndez University, Central University, University of Puerto Rico- Río Piedras and Medical Sciences campuses, Interamerican Society of Psychology, Psychology Association of the Dominican Republic, among others. She has been an active participant of the aforementioned organizations and a member of non-governmental organizations in which she has held leadership positions: treasurer in Producir, Inc.; Secretary of Puerto Rican Union of Qualitative Research. At present she is Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rican Epilepsy Society, member of Committee of International Relations of APPR. Coordinating Committee of Movement Soberanist Union; and a collaborator in organizations that works on mental health prevention. Her research interests include: Children with Functional Diversity, epilepsy racism, gender issues, afro-descendant heritage and indigenous mental health practice.



This presentation encompasses a brief presentation of epilepsy and its multidimensional effect on the body, physical, mental and behavioral functions. Epilepsy is defined as a neurological condition that is characterized by two or more unprovoked seizures according to the International League Against Epilepsy. It is a chronic neurological condition estimated to affect 80,000 people in Puerto Rico, especially children and adolescents. The epilepsies affect people of all ages, genders, races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic status but the impact of an epilepsy diagnosis and treatment it’s not equal. The condition has effects on, learning, attention, emotional wellbeing, community functioning, daily activities. The most prevalent mental health comorbidities are depression and anxiety. Health disparities create poorer outcomes for some groups within the puertorrican community, driven in part by social and economics determinants of health. Epilepsy is a condition surrounded by stigma and misconceptions, and persons with epilepsy suffer the consequences of the lack of knowledge and understanding. Community-based care should be emphasized to increase access people in need of epilepsy services, social, psychological and educational services should provide support to persons and families living with epilepsy. In Puerto Rico, for over 60 years the Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Epilepsia (SPE), a nonprofit organization has worked closely with the community, to create awareness and educate about epilepsy. Through this experience, we have identified the need to provide practical tools and appropriate training to health care providers.

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