British Columbians living with brain injuries will have increased access to vital services as the Government of B.C. provides $2 million to the Brain Injury Alliance to support community brain-injury associations throughout the province.
“People living with brain injury tell me they have challenges accessing the services they need, and I’m pleased this funding will make it easier for them to get the support they deserve,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “I’m grateful to the Brain Injury Alliance for working to support people with a brain injury and their families.”
The investment will support a wide range of programs run by Brain Injury Alliance members. The alliance, a non-profit organization comprised of 13 community brain-injury societies in B.C., helps more than 4,000 people each year learn how to live with the changes and challenges they face after injury. Alliance members are community associations that run rehabilitative programs and services (including counselling), individual support (such as life-skills assistance and homelessness prevention) and group services, such as drop-in sessions.
Founded in 2014, the Brain Injury Alliance aims to improve the lives of people living with brain injuries, including those resulting from car accidents and drug overdoses. It advocates for adequate and sustainable funding for brain-injury prevention, education and individual supports provided by community non-profit brain-injury services.
“This funding makes it possible for brain-injury societies to continue providing these essential community services — services which give survivors and their families hope and enable them to regain their lives,” said Dr. John Higenbottam, Brain Injury Alliance president. “Managed at the local level, these societies are able to tailor their services to the specific needs of their communities ensuring programs meet client needs and can respond quickly as demands and circumstances change. Our member societies work in concert with B.C.’s five health authorities and play a vital role in the continuum of care for those who have suffered a brain injury.”
The alliance also administers the Dr. Gur Singh Memorial Education Fund, which is available to people with an acquired brain injury who want to upgrade their education and find employment.
This investment is part of the government’s commitment to delivering the services people count on, particularly improving and strengthening health services for seniors, those with mental health and substance use issues, and other adults who have complex-care needs. Ensuring both short- and long-term services are available at no cost to adults in B.C. who have had their lives altered by an injury to the brain is essential to meeting this government objective.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) arises from traumatic damage to the brain and head (e.g., vehicle collisions, falls, sports injuries, assaults and electrocution).
- Acquired brain injury (ABI) includes TBI plus non-traumatic causes (e.g., stroke, aneurysm, arterial venous malformation, tumours, anoxic events, surgical mishaps and infections).
- A non-fatal illicit drug toxicity poisoning may result in a type of brain injury known as anoxic brain injury, which occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen.
- Approximately 180,000 people in B.C. are living with an ABI.
- Post ABI, people are seven times more likely to develop symptoms of mental illness.
- When ABI and TBI are included together, estimates suggest up to one in 25 people in Canada may be living with some level of ongoing disability from a brain injury.
For more information on the Brain Injury Alliance, visit: http://braininjuryalliance.ca/
For a full list of the 13 brain-injury societies that will benefit from this funding, visit: https://www.braininjuryalliance.ca/brain-injury-alliance-members/
For more information on the Dr. Gur Singh Memorial Education Fund, visit: www.drgursinghgrants.ca