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What Does Brain Injury Awareness Mean?

Amanda Nachman

Brain Injury Blog by Amanda Nachman

March 20, 2013

What Does Brain Injury Awareness Mean?

Awareness: to have knowledge or consciousness of a problem. (thefreedictionary.com)

This month is brain injury awareness month.  I read it on a brain injury resource website.  Ironically, most people who are going to that website, are quite aware of the impact mild or severe brain injuries can have on our lives.  Where is the awareness in the media?  Where is the awareness that everyday people like me suffer brain injuries just like athletes and military personnel?

Awareness needed all year round

I am a schoolteacher who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury in January, 2011.  I have been working on “awareness” since I have been capable of doing so.  I have not designated a month, but dedicated a lifetime to let people know that people with brain injuries need support, care, understanding every day, all year long.  I did not get this, but I will do everything I can to change this for others.

Let’s focus on the problem 

Recently, a writer for CNN spoke out about her injury (a concussion) and the impact it had on her life.  There was a lot about her story for one day.  Although I find it important to get our stories out, we need to keep them relevant in the media in order for changes to truly take place.  Unfortunately for this reporter, the feedback from her story became focused on her title “Living with a Borrowed Brain” vs. the actual situation and challenges she was facing.  The response these people gave this poor young woman was so typical of some of the challenges we encountered with medical providers, insurance companies, and employers.  No one wants to focus on the real problem here.

Calling all famous people! 

Peoples’ lives are being altered on a daily basis due to mild traumatic brain injuries, and yet there is still so little understanding and help for people like us.  We aren’t crazy, attention seeking people; we are people with real challenges who need the support of the greater community.  Where is our famous spokesperson who can reach a broader audience?  Not to take away from other important diseases or injuries, but we need to build greater awareness in the mass media so that hopefully there will come a time, when you tell a provider you have a brain injury, and they will understand you need compassion, guidance, and support.  If you know someone famous, PLEASE ask them to help us build awareness, not just in the month of March, but every day.