MEDIA RELEASE Date April 13, 2019

Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant delivers a project that provides more support group opportunities across Halton-Peel for young adults with acquired brain injuries.

On Saturday April 13, 2019 at 6:00 pm, the BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF PEEL AND HALTON (BIAPH) welcomed members of the public to an Open House and a grant recognition event to mark the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation to help young adults who have sustained an ABI to connect with other young adults in a supportive environment. The three-year grow grant BIAPH received in late 2017 is fundamental in sustaining our youth group “Headspin”. The grant builds on a proven model that was made possible by receiving an initial one-year seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Local MPP STEPHEN CRAWFORD, MPP for Oakville were on hand to congratulate the Brain Injury Association of Peel and Halton and hear more about how the grow grant decreased social isolation and how it is making a difference, making an impact to people living with an Acquired Brain Injury and their families.

Jorun Rucels, Executive director of the Brain Injury Association of Peel and Halton shared some Brain Injury Facts and how this invisible injury impacts not only the “survivor” but their entire families. Most survivors report experiencing a loss of friends and community support. This is especially true in the younger ABI population.

Brain Injury Facts Ontario:
 There are close to half a million Ontarians currently living with acquired brain injury (ABI) and over 45,000 new cases are added every year.
 155,000 concussions occur each year in Ontario.
 Brain injury is more prevalent than breast cancer, spinal cord injury and HIV/AIDS combined.
 Despite the staggering numbers, ABI survivors are largely invisible to the general public and forgotten in the province’s health care and social services system.
 We simply don’t ‘see them.’ And we fail to provide them with the community supports they need. Consequently, they ‘fall through the cracks.’

Quote from one of our members:
‘Being a member of the Headspin Support group has helped me realize my ABI is a part of me but not what defines me. The group has been a great outlet for me. I’ve made new friends and for the first time I feel I have others to talk to that understand.’

Quote from a parent:
‘Until BIAPH launched the young adult support group “Headspin”, there was no accessible network to bring together young adults with ABI’s in a supportive environment where they could feel safe being themselves. Where they could put into practice the skills modeled through the various supports and therapies. Where they could find acceptance and understanding. Where they could feel like they “fit in”. Where they could make friends. Where they could have fun.’

BIAPH’s Mission is to enhance the quality of life for persons in the region(s) of Peel and Halton who are living with the effects of an acquired brain injury through:
EDUCATION, AWARENESS and SUPPORT.

On April 26, 2019 BIAPH is proud to present its first annual Health Advocate Conference:
WHAT YOU’RE MISSING: – PRACTICAL TIPS AND STRATEGIES FROM INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS.

On June 13, 2019 BIAPH will provide a free educational seminar at Sheridan College, Oakville campus.
Dr. Peter Rumney will be presenting on the topic of:
Concussion in Youth; Examining Persisting Symptoms, New Clinical Practice Guidelines and How to Support School Re-entry.

Dr. Peter Rumney is the Physician Director for Rehab and Complex Continuing Care, and Co-Director of the Centre for Leadership in Brain Injury at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. He is recognized throughout the world for his work in pediatric brain injury, with he and his team recently presenting at the International Brain Injury Association conference in Toronto, in March 2019.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Ontario Trillium Foundation awarded more than $120 million to some 700 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.

Media Contact: JORUN RUCELS, Executive Director, Brain Injury Association of Peel and Halton
Phone number: 905 823 2221 – Email: jorun.rucels@biaph.com