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What does it mean to be one of the millions of Americans who suffer from a traumatic brain injury every year? This March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month, and some top organizers are out to make sure everyone understands what TBI survivors go through every day.
Every year, 3.5 million Americans survive a traumatic brain injury. Whether from falls, assaults, or auto accidents, concussions and other forms of TBI can be life changing. While research and treatment can speed recovery, many find their lives will never be the same.
The Brain Injury Association of America and the Department of Defense are making big strides in brain injury awareness this month. Earlier this year, the BIAA announced that, once again, March 2017 would be National Brain Injury Awareness Month.
The BIAA’s awareness campaign has taken on the slogan “Not Alone.” It intends to educate the general public about the prevalence of brain injury and the needs of survivors and their families. It also provides support to the TBI community by de-stigmatizing the injury, empowering survivors, and connecting families to many kinds of support.
The nature of modern military service means that many service men and women come home from deployment every year with TBIs. Areas with increased blast exposure risks are most likely to suffer a TBI, but military personnel in nondeployed settings are still vulnerable to all the civilian causes of brain injury. To address this, the Department of Defense has issued a press release, urging people to learn the symptoms and seek proper care.
“The severity of a TBI can range from mild, with a brief change in mental status or consciousness; to severe, with an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia,”
says Dr. Kirsten Pollick, a neuropsychologist at the Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.
The campaigns will culminate in the 2017 Brain Injury Awareness Day on March 22, 2017 on Capitol Hill. The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, led by Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., from New Jersy and Rep. Tom Rooney from Florida will host BIAA participants in events throughout the day. A Brain Injury Awareness Fair will happen in the morning. Next, members of Congress will attend a briefing “Faces of Brain Injury: The Invisible Disability Affecting Children and Adults.” Finally, there will be an evening reception honoring TBI survivors and their families.
A serious TBI can change your life, leaving you unable to support yourself or address your own everyday needs. But you are not alone. If you, or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury, make sure to connect with the BIAA’s support network, and get connected to a community of survivors that know what you are going through.
David Christensen is a brain injury attorney at Christensen Law. He helps brain injury victims collect auto insurance benefits to cover the cost of their care. If you have suffered a TBI, contact Christensen Law for a free consultation.