The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) leads the nation in observing Brain Injury Awareness Month by conducting an awareness campaign in March each year. The theme for 2018 through 2020 is Change your Mind. The #ChangeYourMind campaign provides a platform for educating the public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families. The campaign also lends itself to outreach within the brain injury community to de-stigmatize the injury, empower those who have survived, and promote the many types of support that are available.
The Department of Health is committed to expanding public knowledge regarding Brain Injury as well as providing programs to aid in the recovery of a brain injury. BrainSTEPS (Strategies, Teaching Educators, Parent and Students) is a program, facilitated by the Bureau of Family Health, which works to ensure that persons providing educational support to children with brain injury have a good understanding of brain injury, the resulting challenges, and supports and interventions that will assist these students achieve educational success. There are currently 30 BrainSTEPS teams throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
School districts throughout the state of Pennsylvania have adapted Return to Learn (RTL) Concussion Management Teams (CMT). As part of the BrainSTEPS program, RTL CMTs support students returning to the demands of school while promoting recovery, prior to making a referral to local BrainSTEPS team. The RTL CMT focuses on academics during the school day, monitoring both student athletes and non-athletes.
The Department of Health, Bureau of Family Health also offers the Head Injury Program (HIP). The HIP is a funding source for individuals 21 years and older that have sustained a traumatic brain injury. The HIP funds rehabilitation services through a specialized brain injury provider within the state of Pennsylvania.
To learn more about services available for individuals with brain injury and their families, please contact the toll-free Brain Injury Help Line at 1-866-412-4755 and speak with a Brain Injury Specialist. Specialists are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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