Governor Tom Wolf Names March 2015 as Brain Injury Awareness Month in Pennsylvania

March 12, 2015

Did you know that more than 245,000 children and adults in Pennsylvania have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury?

Did you know that traumatic brain injury can result in cognitive, physical, behavioral, or emotional challenges?

As a result of the impact of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) on individuals, families, and communities, Governor Wolf has named March 2015 as Brain Injury Awareness Month.  Our governor is urging all Pennsylvanians to learn more about brain injury prevention and to identify ways to assist those who have been diagnosed with TBI.

While all individuals have their own set of strengths and needs, suggestions for assisting those with traumatic brain injuries include:
1.    Use of structured schedules with preparation and support prior to changing activities.  Consistency is important to us all.  Individuals who experience TBI may need additional time and preparation in order to plan for and engage in activities.  The use of a personal schedule and “chaining” behaviors (that is, following a similar pattern each day) can be helpful to those who are managing TBI symptoms.
2.    Repetition is important.  When learning a new task, modeling an activity for group members can be especially helpful to the learning process.  As a result of possible cognitive difficulties, individuals with traumatic brain injuries may require a longer period of support to try or complete another attempt at a new activity.  Repetition may be the key to successful mastery of an action or set of actions.
3.    Limit interruptions to improve focus.  A traumatic brain injury may impact an individual’s ability to concentrate.  Maintaining a quiet space and using written instructions can be helpful to individuals who have experienced TBI.

Individuals diagnosed with TBI may also encounter emotional or behavioral challenges, including angry outbursts or periods of increased frustration or sadness.  As a result, behavioral health supports may assist individuals with TBI to manage mood changes.  New Vitae Wellness and Recovery’s staff has been assisting individuals diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries for over thirty years.  We provide services to those who have experienced TBI as a result of a car accident, military service injury, or other accidents while providing support to develop or recapture a more independent level of functioning.  We support Governor Wolf’s proclamation and encourage all Pennsylvanians to learn more about TBI prevention.  Please also consider volunteering your time to help those experiencing traumatic brain injuries!

"I have battled depression my entire life.  The older I became, the worse the symptoms got.  I was feeling totally hopeless.  Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation at New Vitae saved my life."

- John M. (deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation user)