About Concussion & Brain Injury

Resources for you



Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is damage to the brain which occurs after birth and is not related to a congenital disorder or a degenerative disease.

Acquired Brain Injury includes concussions, may be either temporary or ongoing, and may cause partial or total functional disability or psychosocial difficulties.


Aquired Brain Injury

The most common cause of brain injury is a trauma to the head, such as in a motor vehicle crash, a fall, a violent assault, or an industrial accident. Other causes of brain injury include stroke, brain aneurysm, brain tumours, certain viruses, substance abuse, etc.

The brain is damaged by the collisions of the brain with the interior of the skull, as well as by rotational forces that occur within the brain tissue.


Signs pointing to “lost”, “confused”, “bewildered”, ect.

The effects of concussion and brain injury may include deficits in the following areas:

  • Communication: deficits in speech, comprehension, reading, writing
  • Cognitive Abilities: reduction in arithmetic or reasoning skills, concentration, memory
  • Physical Functioning: visual deficits, headaches, balance problems, fatigue, poor coordination
  • Social/Behavioural Abilities: poor social awareness, emotional problems, impulsivity, reduced judgement, anger outbursts, depression, reduced motivation, isolation


Journey through the forest

Some degree of recovery following a concussion or brain injury is common, but the extent of recovery is difficult to predict.

The Victoria Brain Injury Society has a multitude of programs to help people with an aquired brain injury along their journey as a survivor.

*For more information about brain injury, we recommend visiting www.brainstreams.ca.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of brain injury that is caused by an injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull, this could be a blow to the head but it could also be a fall or other accident.

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

Concussion symptoms vary and concussion in chidren can be different from concussion in adults.

Some symptoms of concussion include:

  • Headache and pain that won’t go away
  • Difficulties with memory
  • Struggling to concentrate or make decisions
  • Slowed thinking, speaking, or reading
  • Getting easily confused
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in mood for no reason
  • Changes to sleep patterns
  • Issues with balance including feeling light-headed or dizzy
  • Nausea
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Issues with your vision

Do you have to lose consciousness to have experienced a concussion?

No, you don’t have to pass out (lose consciousness) to have a concussion.

What should I do if I’ve experienced a concussion?

Contact your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will ask questions about the injury & may ask you questions that test your ability to pay attention, your learning, memory & problem solving. They may also order other tests e.g. neurological exam, CT or MRI. You should:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to rest.
  • For the first 24-48 hours have someone stay with you.
  • Avoid all screens, cell phone, tv, computer etc.
  • Don’t take any other medicines unless your doctor says it’s okay.
  • Avoid alcohol and illegal drugs.
  • Make sure that you slowly return to any activities one at a time. If your symptoms come back when you are doing an activity, stop and rest for a day.

How long will it take me to recover from a concussion?

Some people recover within a few days, for others it can take weeks to recover & some may have long-lasting symptoms. While approximately 80% of people with a concussion only experience symptoms for a few weeks, 20% of people can experience symptoms for much longer. If you’ve experienced a concussion and are struggling then contact VBIS and book an appointment.

Here’s a handy guide for some of the symptoms of concussion from http://www.axoneas.com/. If you’re experiencing these symptoms after a blow to the head then take care and report your symptoms to a doctor.

Check out brainline for more information http://www.brainline.org/landing_pages/categories/concussion.html

Brain injury is…

  • like a computer virus. Your computer processes slower, sometimes it mixes up information, and its memory and capacity can be unpredictable.
  • the longest day of the year, every day.
  • like writing notes in the sand, and after each wave you have to start over again.
  • like waking up at 5 and not knowing whether it is the morning or evening.
  • like a fingerprint. Although they look alike, no two are exactly the same.


“Brain injury is like a snow globe: one minute things are calm and clear, the next minute you are in the middle of a storm.” – Caitlin


“Adapting to a brain injury was like reformatting a computer manually – you have to load disks, programs switch around.” 

Robin Bienvenu – Brain Injury Survivor


“Brain injury is like driving a rented car for the first time. You are in a new environment – you don’t know where the defroster is, you’re not exactly sure which side the gas tank is on or where the hood release is. The more you drive the car and process all the new information, the drive will become more tolerable in time.” Greg Goldberg – Brain Injury Survivor

“Talking about brain injury is like sharing fishing stories with friends. each story is unique but they have something in common.”

Robin Bienvenu – Brain Injury Survivor


“Find the humour in the tumour”

“Not every day is rainbows and puppies”

~ Debbie – ABI Survivor


Everyone experiences their brain injury differently. This page is for you to share your words and images about how you experience your brain injury. If you’d like to share your thoughts on brain injury email ed@vbis.ca




 According to the US Center for Disease Control (USCDC) brain injury from trauma alone:

  • occurs at an annual rate of 500/100,000 individuals (166,455 in Canada, and 22,000 in BC each year).
  • that is 456 people every day, one person injured every 3 minutes in Canada!
  • occurs at a rate 100 times that of spinal cord injury.
  • has a population prevalence in excess of 2% (700,000 in Canada, 80,000 in BC living with permanent disability from brain injury)
  • is the greatest killer under the age of 45, the greatest disabler under the age of 44 and kills more children under the age of 20 than all other causes combined.

No reliable estimates have been completed in Canada to date. The USCDC keeps data relating to trauma-based injury only (Motor Vehicle Crashes, falls, sports related trauma, assault etc). Other acquired injury (stroke, aneurysm, anoxic events, tumors, infections, toxins, surgical procedures, drugs and alcohol, electrocutions, arterial venus malformations, etc.) is estimated to double incidence and prevalence rates.


Over 50% of traumatic brain injuries come from falls and motor vehicle accidents.


  • Annual incidence greater than Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injury, HIV/AIDS and Breast Cancer combined!
  • Annual cost estimated at $3 billion
  • 53% of the homeless in Toronto report history of traumatic brain injury, 72% of which prior to being homeless
  • Of 235 provincial prison inmates interviewed, 44% reported a history of traumatic brain injury


Campbell River Head Injury Support Society

Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association

Nanaimo Brain Injury Society

Prince George Brain Injured Group Society

West Kootenay Brain Injury Association

Bulkley Valley Brain Injury Association

Northern Brain Injury Association

South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society

North Okanagan-Shuswap Brain Injury Society



Brain Injury Canada

Brain Injury Association of Alberta

Manitoba Brain Injury Association Inc.

Newfoundland and Labrador Brain Injury Association

Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia

Ontario Brain Injury Association

Vista Centre Brain Injury Services (Ottawa)

Brain Injury Association of PEI

Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association

Bergeron Clifford’s Ottawa & Kingston Associations List



BC Bus Pass Program

handyDART, Taxi Saver Program & Community Travel Training

Parking Permit Program

BC Ferries Information for Passengers with Special Needs

ICBC Autoplan Insurance Disability Discount

BC Assistance for Persons with Disabilities

CPP Disability Benefits

Brain Injury Program VIHA (Vancouver Island Health Authority)

Victoria Disability Resource Centre

BC Coalition of People with Disabilities

Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre

Encephalitis Global

The Cridge Centre for the Family – Brain Injury Program

Community and Legal Sources for People with a Disability



Brain Streams

Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide

The Secret Life of the Brain: 3-D Brain Anatomy

brainindex.com: From Concussion to Coma

The Dana BrainWeb (Provides Links to Brain Research)

Glasgow Coma Scale

National Stroke Association (USA)

Neuropsychology Central

The Perspectives Network (Great Links to BI Resources)

To You Who are Waiting while Someone is in a Coma

Community Brain Injury Program for Children & Youth in BC

Brain Injury Association of America

Center for Disease Control & Prevention – Prevention and Statistics

Traumatic Brain Injury Resources (Helpful Links, Tools and Resources)

TBI Talks – Greg Goldberg, Motivational Speaker and BI Survivor

Bowersox Law Brain Injury Resource – Tips for Parents and Teachers (Thank you, Jesse, for the link!)

Cerebral Palsy Group

National CPR Association

http://secondchancetolive.org/ (Thank you Craig for the link!)

https://www.swartzlaw.com/brain-injuries.html (Thanks Ron for the link!)

https://scribeschool.net/nervous-system-info-for-scribes.html (Thanks David for the link!)

https://www.highrises.com/cycling-in-portland-and-general-biking-tips.php (Thank you Ally for the link!)

 https://damorementalhealth.com/impact-of-traumatic-brain-injuries/ The Impact of Traumatic Brain Injuries


How to Ride Your Bike Safely

Head Injury Prevention In Youth Sports: An Online Guide

Car and Traffic Safety for Kids (Thank you, Frannie, for the link!)

Athletic Safety Apparel and Equipment (Thank you, Compton Community Center, for the link!)

Motorcycle Safety (Thank you, Andrew, for the link!)

Is a Helmet Worth It? (Thank you, Elizabeth and Patricia, for the link!)

An Athletes Guide to Concussion (Thank you Barbara and Lauren for the link!)

Urban Cycling Safety  (Thank you Carolyn and Claire for the link)

http://www.homeadvisor.com/r/bike-commuting-safety-tips/ (Thank you Sara for the link)

If you would like us to link to your site, please contact us to explore the possibility of cross-linking.