A brain injury can happen in an instant, but its effects can last a lifetime. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention, 2.4 million Americans sustain a brain injury each year. Whether due to a fall, motor-vehicle accident, combat related injury or other traumatic event, brain injury has life-altering consequences for millions of people and their families. Education and awareness play a vital role in reducing the number of preventable brain injuries and March as Brain Injury Awareness month is a time to shed a light on an injury that can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
“We work hard year-round to provide quality services and support to individuals with brain injury and other neurological challenges. These brave individuals serve as constant inspiration for both myself and our staff across the country,” said Bruce Nardella, The MENTOR Network’s Chief Executive Officer. “I am proud of the work our partners are doing to recognize Brain Injury Awareness Month and I applaud the advocacy and activism of our staff and the individuals we serve.”
In recognition of Brian Injury Awareness month The Network’s partners are participating in events and raising awareness about brain injury throughout March.
Network Specialty Rehabilitation Services partner NeuroRestorative introduced the second-annual Voices of Brain Injury campaign. The campaign is designed to provide a platform for those who are affected by brain injury to tell their story in their own words. This year’s theme “What Helps?” asks individuals affected by brain injury to share what they believe helps most in the recovery process, and participants are encouraged to submit a creative work that represents their experience. Throughout the month NeuroRestorative will be sharing their work and words of inspiration on Facebook in an effort to raise awareness.
For the fifth year in a row, REM Iowa joined the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa at the Iowa State Capitol for the Brain Injury Advocacy Day on the Hill. Forty-five staff members and individuals from REM Iowa attended the annual advocacy day and several were able to meet with their local representatives. REM Iowa recently created a Brain Injury Champion Work Group which includes 13 individuals who are served by the program and have a passion for supporting other brain injury survivors. The group’s mission is to create a system of services that provides individuals with brain injury opportunities for personal growth and connection in natural environments. Additionally, REM Iowa is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day-themed brain injury awareness event on March 28 that will include a magic show, cookie decorating, photo booth and dancing.
At CareMeridian, staff and patients will be attending the Brian Injury Alliance of Arizona’s BBQ & Expo on March 15. The event will include live music, a BBQ lunch, a prize drawing and information about community resources for individuals with brain injury. On March 22, the California program will also be participating in the 8th Annual Walk for Brain Injury Awareness in Huntington Beach.
REM Minnesota is recognizing Brain Injury Awareness month with a Wellness Challenge for staff and the individuals they serve. Each week the organization will focus on a theme—stress reduction, exercise and activity, rest, and diet—in an effort to improve the overall health of individuals and staff. The REM Minnesota team hopes for positive outcomes for both themselves and the individuals they support and to keep the activities going throughout the year.
Together, NeuroRestorative and CareMeridian form The MENTOR Network’s Post-Acute Specialty Rehabilitation Services.
REM Minnesota and REM Iowa are partners of The MENTOR Network.