Article at a glance
- Many of us never imagine that our lives could be impacted by a brain injury, yet, every 9 seconds someone in the United States sustains one.
- A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a blow to the head or penetrating head injury that can disrupt normal brain function. TBIs can range from a mild injury with temporary symptoms to severe damage with permanent and life-altering disabilities.
- Every March, the Brain Injury Association of America leads Brain Injury Awareness Month. This year’s Change Your Mind Campaign is a platform to de-stigmatize brain injury and support those who have been affected.
- While we can’t prevent all TBIs, we can continuously learn more about brain injuries and work together to support prevention, research, and treatment.
Many of us never imagine the impact a brain injury can have to our lives. However, worldwide there were 27 million new cases of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) in 2016 alone. Among brain injury survivors, up to 5.3 million Americans live with long term disabilities resulting from their brain injuries. A TBI is a pressing public health and medical problem that does not discriminate by age, race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. Anyone can be affected by a TBI directly, or indirectly.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A TBI is defined as a blow to the head or penetrating head injury that disrupts regular brain function. A TBI occurs most often by being struck by or against an object from falls, contact sports, combat injuries, or motor vehicle accidents. Mild TBI can affect brain cells temporarily, while severe cases can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding, and other physical damage to the brain. Depending on the severity of the injury, a TBI can have lasting physical, sensory, and cognitive symptoms ranging from mild headaches to changes in personality, cognitive function, and ability to complete daily tasks.
Change Your Mind Campaign
Our understanding of TBIs is changing rapidly as research continues to build, and as influential people who have been affected speak out. Every March, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has led Brain Injury Awareness Month. A time to recognize the growing prevalence of TBI to help make lives better for individuals who have sustained this kind of injury.
The theme for the 2018 - 2020 campaign is Change Your Mind. A public awareness campaign that provides a platform to help de-stigmatize brain injuries, while empowering those who have suffered and their caregivers. Also, to promote the support available for those affected by brain injuries.
How You Can Help
People are impacted by TBI every day. Whether it’s the victim, or the loved ones caring for them, we can do our part to support those living with a brain injury. In addition to learning more about how you can reduce your risk of a brain injury, here are some ways that you can promote Brain Injury Awareness Month:
- Learn about TBI
- Post your support on social media #ChangeYourMind #BrainInjuryAwarenessMonth
- Donate to, or volunteer for a brain injury research or service organization that you trust by using sites such as GuideStar or Charity Navigator
- Attend an event in your area by checking with your state chapter of the Brain Injury Association
- Tell your story if you have been affected by TBI
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