National Brain Injury Awareness Month has been nationally observed and recognized since 1993. The month of March honors Brain Injury Awareness Month by raising funds for services, supports, and research. While also emphasizing the important opportunity to bring attention to the prevention of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and all brain injuries alike. The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) does so much for people living with brain injury such as providing support resources, sharing stories of brain injury survivors, and helping survivors get the care and assistance they need during and after recovery.
National Brain Injury Awareness Month highlights the causes and aims to eliminate the stigma surrounding brain injuries. Like any traumatic event, when it comes to brain injuries, not a single injury or person is the same. Because anyone can suffer from a brain injury, it is critical to remember that everyone is a person first, they are not their injury. This allows for different types of support and treatment for each individual, while simultaneously giving survivors care, understanding, and patience. If you’re not sure what classifies a brain injury or a TBI; it is caused by an impact or force to the head or body or a penetrating injury to the head (CDC, 2020). The number one leading mechanism for TBIs in older adults are falls, but another dangerously popular cause of TBIs and overall brain injuries are concussions. Learning the signs of a concussion and when to seek medical attention can mean the different between a mild and a severe injury, repeat injuries require additional serious care and attention.
There are two types of brain injuries, traumatic and non-traumatic. You would think that any type of injury or force towards the brain would be considered traumatic, but this is not the case. A traumatic brain injury occurs as a result of car accidents, sports, domestic violence/spousal abuse, falls, and other external forces. Non-traumatic brain injuries begin internally due to disease, poisoning, lack of oxygen, stroke, or other internal medical condition. As previously mentioned, just as no two people are alike, no two brain injuries are alike either. According to the Department of Defense, one of the keyways to recognizing a concussion and getting essential treatment early is identifying and familiarizing yourself with these symptoms:
H- headaches or vomiting
E- ears ringing
A- amnesia, altered consciousness, or loss of consciousness
D- double vision and/or dizziness
S- something doesn’t feel right, something is wrong
Go into the month of March with the best intention to become educated and aware of traumatic brain injuries and brain injuries all together. Learn more about supporting individuals with brain injuries, prevention, and more. Use the hashtags #BrainInjuryAwarenessMonth, #ChangeYourMind, to share on social media while also recognizing the color blue for brain injury awareness and green for traumatic brain injuries. Visit www.biausa.org to learn more.
NATIONAL BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS MONTH – March. National Day Calendar. (2018, November 15). https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-brain-injury-awareness-month-march/.
BIAA. Brain Injury Association of America. (2021, February 19). https://www.biausa.org/.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, March 5). Brain Injury Awareness Month – March 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6909a1.htm#:~:text=Brain%20Injury%20Awareness%20Month%2C%20recognized,with%20TBI%20and%20their%20families.
Want to talk to someone who can help? If you would like to speak to a professional counselor or psychologist about this and are in the Chicagoland area, please feel free to contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.
Written by: Abrea, 2021 Undergraduate Intern