According to research published in the Journal of Neurosurgery, an estimated sixty-nine million people worldwide sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) each year.¹
In Europe, approximately seventy-five thousand people die per year from TBI, which doesn’t express the numbers of people in terms of morbidity.²
As those on social media will be aware, the number of us who can find each other and know about the kind of information and support available online is only a drop in the ocean compared to how many people are really out there.
It is also logical to conclude that the number of people living with a brain injury who are using social media struggle because of poor or no medical support. They are using social media to reach out, to find help, and to find information.
One of the biggest problems with brain injury is you don’t know what you don’t know.
This outcome means that if you have a brain injury and don’t know you need more information or think you have been given all the available help, you won’t go and look for more.
Awareness is a real problem. Sometimes families will direct their loved ones to social media, but often they hold back because of fears about vulnerability. Families may worry that they don’t have the time to supervise activities and opt to protect first.
There is often little hope and plenty of disasters for all those who are isolated and unsupported.
Although many countries have support organisations, people are often unaware they are there or might be worried about making contact.
Some people feel that a support group will be like an AA meeting or will entangle them in a situation where they will feel disabled. They may want guidance or to understand and learn how to get their lives back but might believe this kind of support isn’t available.
How do you reach people beyond social media?
A different future opens up for those who have found their way to support organisations or social media. They have hope because they are connecting with sources of help.
Often dismissed by doctors, many people feel abandoned and give up. Families fall apart, people lose their income, their purpose and sometimes their liberty or homes.
Those with access to social media or support organisations find the help they need to rise above the profound despair. Knowing that you are not alone and that other people understand can bring remarkable differences to the way people living with brain injury and their families feel about themselves.
Entering its’ ninth year the worldwide event, the ‘Brain Injury Global Picnic,’ aims to fill the awareness gap. By utilising traditional media, we can reach more people. We can connect with people beyond social media.
We can let them know about support organisations, their aims and role, and other resources people can reach through their phones or computer.
GBIA believe it is crucial to continue spreading the word and let people know what they can find, what to expect, and most importantly, to let them know they are not alone.
The Brain Injury Global Picnic brings people, organisations and businesses together on one day. This year it will be July 23rd.
We ask everyone to email a press statement to their local media and to tell their story, talk about local issues and let people know what resources there are.
Depending on what people would like to do, any outreach activity takes some organisation and planning. We all need to think ahead, especially if you ask a local newspaper or radio station to feature your story on Global Picnic day.
By working together, it becomes possible that national media will pick up the aims of the event. We start with a ripple to create a tsunami.
Please, ‘Come Join Us!’
Please check out our event, ‘Global Picnic’ and get involved. We have ways for everyone to show other people the benefits of contacting or connecting with others.
A decade ago there was very little information on the internet – now you can look up almost any question and find guidance and information. You can pick up the phone and talk to people and find ways to overcome challenges.
Please, help us to help people find what is available.
The event only works because of the willingness of people to collaborate and take part. We’d love for that to be you!
(1) PubMed Estimating the global incidence of traumatic brain injury – PubMed (nih.gov) Dewan MC, Rattani A, Gupta S, Baticulon RE, Hung YC, Punchak M, Agrawal A, Adeleye AO, Shrime MG, Rubiano AM, Rosenfeld JV, Park KB. Estimating the global incidence of traumatic brain injury. J Neurosurg. 2018 Apr 1:1-18. doi: 10.3171/2017.10.JNS17352. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 29701556.
(2) Neuro Trauma 18 01 Molecular aspects of TBI by Ciaran Scott Hill from Instant Help on Vimeo Ciaran Scott Hill, Neurosurgery Registrar & Honorary Senior Lecturer, London