DENVER (March 1, 2023) — More than a half-million Coloradans are living with a brain injury and more than 5,000 are hospitalized each year. Further, Colorado ranks ninth in the nation of fatalities due to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This month, the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and MINDSOURCE Brain Injury Network are celebrating March as Brain Injury Awareness Month, which supports people living with brain injuries and focuses on prevention. The month is also recognized with a governor’s proclamation.
The national observance, which was established by the Brain Injury Association of America, spreads public awareness and understanding of brain injuries, and supports both survivors and caregivers. A brain injury is damage to the brain from an internal event such as a stroke or carbon monoxide poisoning, or external event such as a motor vehicle accident or sport injury, which results in impairments to functioning.
“We want all Coloradans and visitors to #MindYourBrain! Brain injuries can impact anyone and carry life-changing effects,” said Liz Gerdeman, director of Mindsource. “Brain Injury Awareness Month brings awareness to residents on how vital brain function is, how residents can avoid brain injuries and provide resources for the thousands of Coloradans already suffering from a brain injury.”
Mindsource is kicking off a month-long campaign focused on education and resources and is calling all Coloradans and visitors to #MindYourBrain. Follow along and use the hashtag on social media. Coloradans will see educational social media posts and informational graphics, interviews with survivors and experts, TV and radio appearances and the launch of brain health online resource mindyourbrainco.org. Coloradans will also see highway messaging and newsletters emphasizing brain safety measures within the state’s transportation and tourism industries.
It is estimated that 2.8 million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury every year, leading to nearly 2.5 million emergency department visits, 225,000 hospitalizations and 65,000 deaths annually. More than 5.3 million Americans are living with a permanent brain injury-related disability, and brain injury reduces life expectancy by eight years on average.
Mindsource strives to enhance the quality of life for everyone in Colorado living with or affected by brain injury, and their communities. Housed within CHDS, Mindsource serves as the umbrella entity for three distinct programs/functions: Mindsource manages the Colorado Brain Injury Trust Fund, provides training and technical assistance regarding brain injury for public and private entities, and manages the federal traumatic brain injury grant.
According to the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado, Colorado defines brain injury as: “Damage to the brain from an internal or external source, including, but not limited to, a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), that occurs post-birth and is noncongenital, nondegenerative, and nonhereditary, resulting in partial or total functional impairment in one or more areas, including but not limited to attention, memory, reasoning, problem solving, speed of processing, decision-making, learning, perception, sensory impairment, speech and language, motor and physical functioning, or psychological behavior.”
McKenna Corson, Communications Specialist