West Virginia joins national campaign to promote brain injury awareness

Monday, March 5, 2018

The West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED) is joining forces with the Brain Injury Association of America to educate the public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families during the month of March as National Brain Injury Awareness Month.

Every nine seconds, someone in the United States sustains a brain injury and one in every 60 people in the U.S. lives with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The CED is West Virginia’s designated lead agency for the coordination of services for West Virginians with TBI. The program has two trainers and seven resource coordinators regionally located throughout the state. Together they help provide TBI services and supports to individuals, their families and professionals who work with them. The goal of the program is to help West Virginians with brain injuries maintain independence and address any immediate needs to improve their quality of life.

“Traumatic brain injuries occur much more often than we realize. It is very important for survivors to have the resources that they need after they are discharged from the medical setting. For example, concussions are a form of TBI and we are joining forces with other partners in West Virginia to work on protocols that help students and teachers know the impact that a concussion can have on a student’s learning once they are leaving medical care and are returning to the classroom,” said Teresa McCourt, CED assistant director who oversees the TBI program.

As a part of this awareness campaign in March, Governor Jim Justice has issued a proclamation encouraging all West Virginians to observe the month as National TBI Awareness Month in the Mountain State. The TBI program will be sharing resources in health departments across the state and conducting outreach and education activities about TBI services and supports.

The CED’s TBI program is coordinating a conference on May 10-12th in Flatwoods, WV for survivors, caregivers and professionals with special Saturday sessions for teachers, survivors and caregivers who cannot attend during weekdays. For more information about the conference or the TBI program visit www.tbi.cedwvu.org.