March marks Brain Injury Awareness Month, when survivors and advocates of traumatic brain injuries unite to spread awareness about the “invisible” injury. Each year, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) selects a theme designed to help educate the public on the matter. This year’s campaign is called “Change Your Mind.”
The BIAA’s “Change Your Mind” campaign seeks to convey how brain injuries affect the way a person thinks, acts, moves and feels, as well as empower survivors to thrive after a brain injury. The association aims to de-stigmatize the condition by providing valuable education and community outreach as well as offering resources for survivors’ families.
Brain Injuries in America
Every 9 seconds, someone suffers a brain injury in the U.S., and one in sixty Americans lives with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) related disability. That equates to 5.3 million total who are affected by brain injuries in the U.S. alone.
Most don’t realize how vulnerable the brain is until suffering a serious head injury.
In fact, did you know the thinnest spots of an adult’s skull measure just .4mm in thickness – the same thickness of a credit card? Other parts of the skull thicken to 7mm, comparable to the width of an iPhone.
Because the skull offers minimal protection to such an important organ, brain injury is a serious risk for anyone.
The most common reasons for brain injuries include:
- Slips and falls
- Car accidents
- Sporting accidents
- Trauma to the head
- Electric shock/lightning strike
- Dangerous drugs/substance abuse
- Oxygen deprivation(hypoxia/anoxia)
- Seizure disorder
Each year, 2.5 million Americans sustain TBIs, 2.2 million are treated in emergency and trauma centers, another 280,000 are hospitalized and 50,000 lose their lives to head injuries.
You may not personally know someone living with a brain injury, especially since the signs are not always obvious. With their prevalence, chances are you know someone who is indirectly affected by a brain injury.
When critical injuries like these have lasting effects on a person, the surrounding community plays a significant role in helping him or her to heal and readjust.
Learning More About Brain Injuries
The most effective advocates are those who are well-informed, which is why brain injury awareness supporters focus heavily on education. Whether a person was born with it or acquired one later in life, brain injuries are unpredictable and often devastating. Here are a few basic facts about brain injuries:
- Brain Injuries can cause life-altering challenges, including physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral changes.
- Even mild brain injuries can result in disabilities that interfere with a person’s ability to lead a normal life.
- No two brain injuries are exactly alike.
- For many, dealing with a brain injury is a lifelong process.
- Brain injury recovery requires a multi-faceted treatment plan, combining support from clinicians and family members. Various treatment options are available, from hospital stays to rehabilitation, medications and more.
Resources in the form of support groups and educational programs are available for supporters, survivors and their families. The BIAA focuses on community-based treatments that help survivors establish connections with others living with similar injuries to remind them they are #NotAlone.
Get Involved with the #ChangeYourMind Campaign
Brain injury victims need your support. Now, you can be a part of the solution. Visit the Change Your Mind Campaign website to learn more about how you can help.
- Connect with like-minded individuals who are on the same journey through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Adorn your profile pic with an official Brain Injury Association of America profile frame to let others know about the cause.
- Spread awareness. The Brain Injury Association of America has created a digital stamp for the #ChangeYourMind Campaign. Download the stamp to add to your websites, social media posts, email signature, or use to create t-shirts, stickers and Let others know you’re an advocate and show your stamp with pride.
- Show your support by sharing and downloading free posters, flyers and ads available through the campaign’s website with your community.
- Share your story. The BIAA provides a safe place for brain injury survivors to sharing your personal testimony with the world and be an inspiration in the brain injury community.
There’s no better time nor easier way to get involved and show your support than during Brain Injury Awareness month. Start by using the social sharing buttons below to share this blog!