Help people through the complexities of brain injury today

Diversity, not abnormality.

The Issue

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“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

Edward Everett Hale

Traumatic brain injury is the number one killer and disabler of young Canadians under the age of 40

It’s more prevalent than Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injury, HIV/AIDS, and breast cancer per year combined. Yet funding for research and support continues to remain alarmingly low. If you know someone with a brain injury, or have experienced one yourself, you know the weight of the stigma it carries. 

85% of brain injuries are left undetected

This is why brain injury is often referred to as the ‘Silent Epidemic,’ as survivors often cannot receive the help that they desperately need.

— But access to coping and skills-based programs to adjust to life after brain injury means housing, income, and health.

 

 

Access to support changes

everything.

Health

A Canadian study found that adults with concussion committed suicide at three times the population norm. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are not uncommon during recovery. Nearly 50% of people with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are affected by depression within their first year after injury. Shockingly, this number only increases to nearly two-thirds within seven years after injury. We offer a safe space and a community of understanding people to let you know that you are not alone. There is help and there is hope.

Employment

Many individuals are able to  return to work after experiencing a brain injury. But for some, this can look drastically different. Brain injury often results in fatigue, difficulty with attention, memory, planning, communicating, problem-solving, motor impairments, and so much more. Through programs such as our BrainWorks program, we help survivors navigate the return to work.

Housing

Approximately 50% of people experiencing homelessness have a brain injury. This population is more likely to struggle with mental illness, have contact with the criminal justice system, and attempt suicide. Access to the free resources and guidance from our knowledgeable Case Management team can be crucial in helping people struggling with homelessness move forward with their recovery.

What is acquired brain injury?

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is damage to the brain which occurs after birth. There are two types of acquired brain injury: traumatic and non-traumatic.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur after a sudden external blow or jolt to the head which causes damage to the brain. Examples of circumstances that can cause TBI include a car crash, fall, sports injury, or an assault.

Non-traumatic brain injuries cause damage to the brain by internal factors through a lack of oxygen, exposure to toxins, or tumor. Examples of non-traumatic brain injuries include stroke, meningitis, and aneurysms.

WHAT THE RESEARCH TELLS US

THE WORK

We see diversity, not abnormality.

At the Victoria Brain Injury Society, we believe every individual is due respectful support that begins with the recognition that individuals with disabilities are not abnormal or deficient, but, instead, reflect the normal diversity of the human community. Our basic philosophical underpinnings are rooted in the idea of maximum independence, and using existing support services where appropriate.

There is support and understanding that you cannot imagine.

Theory of Change

 The VBIS theory of change states that with early intervention; compensatory strategies; support to improve physical and mental health; and connection to a caring community, crises can be prevented and resolved, and survivors of brain injury and their families can adapt to the challenges of life with a brain injury and thrive – just as Andy does.

– Hear stories of 5 people impacted by our survivor care –

 

The issue.

Brain injury often results in individuals becoming vulnerable – living in a state of economic, cultural, social and political poverty. Current research indicates that Individuals with brain injury are also more likely to be dealing with other challenges such as homelessness, interactions with the criminal justice system, and financial difficulties.

Unfortunately, as brain injury is an invisible and complex disability, many survivors cannot access the support they so desperately need as social service agencies don’t fully understand how to offer a service that accounts for individual challenges. Many of our current clients are navigating complex financial situations during crisis in addition to recovering from and adjusting to life after brain injury.

 

You can break the silence

The "silent epidemic" known as brain injury is massive, but together, we can solve it. Join us in the movement to not only manage brain injury, but prevent it through education and awareness.

You matter for brain injury survivors.

Take action
K

Seeking students to SHINE

SHINE is a new educational outreach service that is being launched at VBIS. Each SHINE session will be delivered to high school students and will provide them with the opportunity to learn about how the brain works, as well as the causes, consequences, and prevalence of Acquired Brain Injury. If you are a youth student with lived experience with concussion or with knowledge and/or experience with brain injury, you can apply to become a SHINE ambassador.

A Letter 

From your braiN After injury

Dear Brain,

I’m glad to see that you are awake! This is your brain talking. I had to find some way to communicate with you. I feel like I barely survived WWIII and am still not quite all in one piece. That’s why I need you. I need you to take care of me.

As time passes and you and I feel better and better, people, even doctors, will tell you that we are fine, “it’s time to get on with life.” That sounds good to me and probably even better to you. But before you go rushing out into that big wide world, I need you to listen to me, really listen. Don’t shut me out. Don’t tune me out. When I’m getting into trouble I’ll need your help more than I ever have before.