Prevention and Education
Do you know of an organization or community group that would like to learn more about brain injury?
Do you want to know more about brain injury and brain health?
Perhaps you support individuals who have a brain injury, maybe you’re a member of sports team and want to know more about concussions, or you’re wondering how to improve your own brain health. Bulkley Valley Brain Injury Association provides customizable training and workshops to organizations and groups in order to assist them in understanding brain injury
We provide free educational presentations to the general public and social service agencies needing assistance to obtain a better understanding of the complex issues that arise when living with, or working with people who have an acquired brain injury.
We offer several types of presentations, including:
- Community Outreach
- Educational Presentations to Schools and other interested parties and community groups.
- Awareness Presentations to Businesses and Non-Profit Organizations
- General information to family, friends and or interested individuals who wish to know more about brain injury
Your brain is you; all of you. Making informed choices is important
Our prevention / education philosophy
Activity is a necessary part of a brain-fit life. We want people to be active. One of the biggest detractors of brain health is a sedentary lifestyle. There are lots of ways to get off the couch: some of us like walking; some of us like high-speed adventures. If/when a concussion / brain injury happens, we hope we will have played a role in spreading knowledge so people can get back out there in the best way possible.
When we go out to speak, we think it is necessary to not only provide information, but to give our community opportunities to clarify misconceptions / misinformation. Some of the questions BVBIA has fielded are:
- Are helmets really necessary?
- Do helmets protect from brain injury?
- What is concussion?
- How hard is our brain?
- Do mouthguards prevent concussion?
- Is there anything I can do to strengthen my brain to prevent concussion?
- Is it true that children recover faster from concussion?
- How many concussions are too many?
- Do adults get brain injuries?
- How can I heal if I have had a concussion?
- What sports should absolutely wear a helmet?
- What does a helmet do?
- What is the best helmet?
- Do I need different helmets for different activities?
- How long before I can get back out there?
- Why am I fine if I have had concussions already?
Some examples of prevention / education work done by BVBIA
- School presentations at a variety of schools and grade levels.
- Annual Bulkley Valley Grade 3 Bike Rodeo.
- Bulkley Valley Child Development Centre Bike Camp presentation.
- Ongoing links posted on our Facebook page.
- "Put A Lid On It" helmet distribution program.
- Presentations to community groups.
- Presentations and communcation with specific sport groups.
If you would like us to talk to a group or have an idea for us, please contact us and let us know!
And although the truth is that no one can make themselves immune to brain injury -
we don't want you to live your life in a bubble.
So although BVBIA acknowledges that there is risk in life, our message is grounded in a desire for people to be active. There are a lot of risks to being sedentary, and a physical life is a good life. We hope active people engage with a comfortable, familiar, deployable base level of knowledge so that if/when a brain injury is suspected, people know what to do.
Don't we do prevention / education already?
Our answer is, respectfully - sort of. There is some talk, some resources. There isn't a lot of across-the-board action though, especially among sport specific populations. There needs to be more community connection and more community engagement. When this happens - when the kid who got hit in hockey, and crashed on his bike, and got hit by his friend (just roughhousing) all in the same month - understands that ALL THREE OF THESE FORCES TO THE HEAD OR BODY may have an effect - then we will have a high community capacity around concussion. The kids need to know, and the parents, and the coaches, and the teachers, and the doctors...WE NEED TO COMMUNICATE and get concussion "out of the closet".
What we have seen is that injury recognition may occur in a clear way if there has been a serious accident; a much higher frequency of mild traumatic brain injuries happen though, where the symptoms are more subtle and don't always appear right away. Unless there was huge trauma, a black and white diagnosis at the event is unlikely and even after the fact might not be forthcoming.
The paradigm shift will truly be here when we, as a rule, start to consider the injury potential for that person, at that time, under those conditions - regardless of the inconvenience to us, the team, or the family: "When in doubt, sit them out".
I know, right? Still.
To support this preventative approach, we need a lot more of the general public to embrace learning around a) what causes a concussion, and b) what type of accident may constitute a concussion risk (for that person, at that time, under those conditions). Then, c) the pedal needs to hit the metal, i.e. people need to deploy the learning and use a clear protocol for evaluation and assessment post-incident.
This learning all happens best before the potential injury event. Then there can be timely recognition of the injury once symptoms begin to manifest. And an understanding of proper recovery trajectories will help you get back out there doing what you want and love to do as soon as it is prudent. This shift will do more to increase the health of our communities than fear and scare tactics that keep everyone home.
Remember: "Play hard, play smart, and love your brain".
Prevention / education starts with us but hopefully doesn't end with us! We believe in the ripple effect.
Helmets may save your life.
Assessing risk is important.