Family Voices for Brain Injury and PTSD

Brain Injury Blog

Family Voices for Brain Injury and PTSD

by Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

Family are direct witnesses to the needs of survivors of blast injury and traumatic brain injury. Their testimony can have an impact that is far greater and more powerful than any data or reports. Anna Freese, Director of  Wounded Warrior Project’s (WWP) Family Support Program and liaison to family caregivers, knows this. She has given powerful professional and personal testimony to Congress on the critical support services that families need for our wounded warriors. The complexity of the combined effects of traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorders are challenging for even the most skilled and experienced health care and mental health professionals. Imagine then, the challenges that families face as they become the primary caregivers of their spouses, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters as our service members and veterans return from Iraq and Afghanistan with injuries that will require a life time of care and support.

Anna Freese’s testimony to the subcommittee of Congress on H.R. 2342, the Wounded Warrior Project Family Caregiver Act, shows the power of a personal story. You can read her testimony on the website on the House Committee on Veteran Affairs.

Every family has a unique story as they struggle to meet the challenges of living with traumatic brain injury and PTSD. But all families share the power of their experience – their stories need to be heard, not only in Congress and in formal hearing and committee meetings, but by their local Senator and Representative. Advocacy is more than meeting with politicians. It’s also about speaking up to  everyone from your next door neighbor to your physician to your coworkers. Janelle Breese Biagioni also knows this and has written a tip card for families and caregivers on the importance of advocacy by family and caregivers to raise both the awareness and funding for brain injury services. If you would like to receive a free copy of the Advocacy tip card, take advantage of this free offer by selecting this title.

January 13, 2012

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