Brain Injury Matters
One second to injure the brain…weeks, months and years to recover
Every day in Northern Ireland, 29 people are admitted to hospital with a suspected brain injury. Each year more than 10,000 people are diagnosed with a brain injury. It is estimated that 37,000 people in NI live with a brain injury.
Rebuilding the lives of ABI survivors
Brain Injury Matters is a local charity dedicated to supporting, promoting and empowering all those affected by Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) to rebuild their lives and reach their full potential in family and community life.
The impact of ABI on life and relationships can be extensive and is rarely confined to the individual who suffered the injury but extends to their family, partners, carers and the wider community. Many ABI survivors experience dramatic and permanent changes in their work status, income, family life, role within society and community and general quality of life.
A bespoke service for individuals and families
Brain Injury Matters deliver an innovative range of bespoke therapeutic services supporting 400 individuals every week at home and in community settings.
The staff team comprises clinicians with expertise in acquired brain injury including physiotherapy, neurological rehabilitation, occupational therapy, speech & language therapy, social work, neuro psychology, counselling, play and creative therapies.
No brain injury is too mild to ignore or too severe to lose hope
A Silent Epidemic
Many people make an excellent physical recovery after brain injury which can mean there are few or even no outward signs that an injury has occurred.
Even with over 10,000 hospital admissions annually, ABI is often referred to as a ‘silent epidemic’ due to the subtle hidden difficulties that can arise with memory and thinking abilities. These, along with cognitive and communication difficulties, may not always be obvious to the casual observer but are one of the most challenging impacts of ABI for the individual and for their family.
Brain Injury Matters was established in 2013
annual admissions to hospital
individuals benefit from Brain Injury Matters’ services
A Lifeline for Vulnerable Clients
In 2019, Brain Injury Matters piloted a telephone counselling service as a means of reaching individuals who faced barriers to accessing ‘in person’ counselling in Belfast. Whilst the evaluation demonstrated that telephone counselling, with the right protocols, systems and equipment is equally as effective as face-to-face counselling, it has also proven to be an excellent fit for many with ABI given heightened anxiety levels of leaving their homes, self-consciousness over physical appearances and the travel cost and time involved.
This experience was a lifeline for clients during the Covid19 lockdowns and facilitated a seamless migration to remote service delivery when many other services faced interruptions. The backgrounds and specific needs of ABI clients reinforces the contribution remote telephone and video counselling can make to meeting clinical need and complementing face to face counselling in the future.