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Shining a Light on Brain Injury

Media Release – June 1, 2021

ST. CATHARINES, ON – Brain injury happens in an instant. It does not discriminate, nor does it only impact one person. Brain injury changes the lives of people of all ages, genders and ethnicities, leaving little time to adapt. This disability lasts a lifetime and often leaves many with feelings of grief, loneliness, anxiety, depression, and an inability to cope. The Ontario Brain Injury Association is committed to serving all Ontarians, driving change and increasing accessibility by reducing barriers for vulnerable and marginalized people across the province.

For decades, OBIA has been devoted to raising awareness about brain injury and making the invisible visible. This year, a partnership was developed among brain injury associations across Canada to develop a national campaign with the theme – Shine a Light on Brain Injury.

This past year has been a dark year for many due to the debilitating impacts of COVID-19. Community programs and social activities that provided support and social interaction were drastically restricted due to public health concerns, increasing isolation and mental health issues.

However, even during these dark days we found hope. Now more than ever before, Ontarians can empathize with the isolation and fear individuals with a brain injury experience every day of their lives.  This new understanding and empathy offer a unique platform to raise awareness about brain injury and its impacts on more than 500,000 Ontarians.

Throughout 2020, organizations across the country showed immense resilience as they adapted to support their clients by providing virtual programs. OBIA was no different and guided the way by quickly transitioning all in-person programs to a virtual platform. OBIA also sought out unique ways to continue to provide education, awareness, and support remotely.  

As we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic, through mass vaccinations and reduced case rates, we are hopeful that many people will, in time, be able to once again venture out and regain their social networks and supports.

However, we are reminded of the many people with brain injuries who will remain isolated and afraid. The understanding we have gained from our own experiences with isolation this past year will drive OBIA’s ongoing passion to shine a light on brain injury and support those impacted by brain injury in Ontario. 

Throughout June, in honour of Brain Injury Awareness Month, OBIA will be releasing a multi-media podcast series titled Sharing Experiences with Concussion/TBI. This series was developed in collaboration with Headsup Concussion Advocacy Network and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. The series has seven episodes led by leading experts in the field and consist of a group of individuals who have sustained brain injuries discussing their experiences in a safe and supportive environment.

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For further media information, contact:
Ruth Wilcock, Executive Director
Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA)
Tel: 905-641-8877 ext 238
Email: rwilcock@obia.on.ca

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