Brain injuries affect many British Columbians every year. And experts say those who have sustained a brain injury are more at risk for anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In BC, approximately 60 new brain injury cases happen each day, or 22,000 each year, and anxiety is the most common mental disorder, affecting 1 in 8 people. The good news is that your communities know about the importance of brain injury recovery and mental health — they’re here to help.
Here are some things happening in Richmond and Nanaimo that are helping people through the complexities of brain injury and mental health.
Looking for digital mental health support? Check out this post we wrote about online therapy.
Nanaimo Organization Strengthened by Provincial Support
Nanaimo’s brain injury society has recently won a $65,000 grant from BC’s Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. The non-profit and charity organization can’t wait to put this money to good use. Kix Citton, Executive Director of the society, says the money was needed — especially in the past year with the effects of the pandemic.
“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, e-mails, and texts we received from people looking for support and resources has doubled.”
— Kix Citton, Executive Director, Nanaimo Brain Injury Society
The Nanaimo Brain Injury Society has been supporting brain injury survivors and their caregivers since 1988. Among many other programs, they have a unique Community Navigator program that gives non-medical support to help individuals navigate the healthcare system, self-manage their brain injury, and connect to resources for their long-term recovery.
Learn more about what Nanaimo is doing to raise brain injury awareness by listening to an interview with Kix Citton on CHLY’s campus-community radio show Wise Folks.
Richmond Company Launches Mental Health First Aid Kit
Richmond’s SOS Emergency Response Technologies has launched a unique product to the health care market – a mental health first aid kit.
SOS Emergency Response Technologies is a family-owned business. Husband-and-wife team Mark and Stacey Friedman have a daughter who uses the kit to help with her own mental health, and they thought it would be helpful to others as well.
The at-home kit is intended to help with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. Among other things you’d see in a traditional first aid kit, it also includes a stress relief squeeze toy, a refreshing water spray, and a fully automated oxygen unit — which is helpful in states of heightened anxiety and panic. Clients get free training at time of delivery and can ask questions as needed.
Island Brain Injury Societies Raise Money in a Unique Way
The brain injury societies of Nanaimo and Victoria have teamed up and created a fun way to raise money for brain injury survivors and their families.
Called Toss the Boss, the event gets local businesses involved in brain injury awareness. Companies make a team, raise money, and nominate their boss for a bungy jump over the Nanaimo River. It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to do something one has only ever dreamed of — tossing your boss off a bridge.
“This is a fun and exciting way for us to reach a new audience and let them know about our organization.”
— Pam Prewett, Executive Director, Victoria Brain Injury Society
The first annual event is taking place at the adventure park WildPlay Nanaimo on Friday, October 1.
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