To ensure people living with brain injuries in and around Nanaimo have access to the services they need, the Province is providing $65,000 to the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society to enhance and expand programs, education and support.
“People living with a brain injury deserve compassionate care,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and MLA for Nanaimo. “Nanaimo Brain Injury Society is connecting people with the resources they need, and our government is honoured to partner with them to support wellness and recovery here in our community.”
The Nanaimo Brain Injury Society is a charitable organization that provides support, education and connection for people living with brain injuries, including injuries resulting from car accidents and drug overdoses. The funding will help the society continue offering supports to people recovering from brain injuries, with an emphasis on providing access to, and expansion of, brain-injury services by partnering with other non-profit organizations and agencies.
“COVID-19 has had an impact on everyone,” said Kix Citton, executive director, Nanaimo Brain Injury Society. “However, those living with a brain injury and their families face additional challenges through the pandemic as they attempt to maintain their emotional health and minimize the negative impacts on their lives. For brain-injury survivors and caregivers, the loss of mental health and wellness supports, as well as social and recreation opportunities, has been both isolating and devastating. Over the last year, the number of calls, emails and texts we received from people looking for support and resources has doubled.”
Programs offered by the society include the Community Navigator Program – a non-medical support service that helps people and caregivers affected by brain injury through development of personalized recovery and action plans, access to community resources and case management, as well as help to build community and social networks.
The society has an extensive peer network offering hospital, community, one-to-one and peer-group supports. These include coffee drop-in meetings, the Life After Brain Injury program and a six-week, group-counselling program facilitated by a registered psychologist.
“Today’s announcement means that people who have suffered a brain injury will continue to be able to access supports in our community,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “I’m grateful for the dedicated efforts of the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society and the positive impact they have on people living with brain injuries and their families in this region.”
This investment is in addition to $2 million recently provided to the Brain Injury Alliance, to support people recovering from brain injuries throughout British Columbia. The Brain Injury Alliance is a provincewide organization composed of individuals and organizations working together to improve the quality of life for persons living with a brain injury, their families and their communities.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) arises from traumatic damage to the brain and head (vehicle collisions, falls, sports injuries, assaults and electrocution).
- Acquired brain injury (ABI) includes TBI plus non-traumatic causes (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.
- About 180,000 people in B.C. are living with an ABI.
- Post ABI, persons 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.
Nanaimo Brain Injury Society: https://www.nbis.ca/
Brain Injury Alliance: https://www.braininjuryalliance.ca/