PARKERSBURG - Help and support are locally available for those who suffer from brain injuries.
The Mid-Ohio Valley Brain Injury Support Group meets twice a month, the last Tuesday and the second Wednesday. Tuesday meetings are from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Parkersburg Office of Jackson County Developmental Center at 709 Division St. Suite 4, Parkersburg.
The second Wednesday meetings are held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Board Room at SW Resources, at 1007 Mary St., Parkersburg.
March was National Brain Injury Awareness Month.
In addition to these meeting times, peer support services are available from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at the Parkersburg Office at JCDC. Family, professionals and interested residents are invited to participate in the services and groups provided by the Brain Injury Support program, according to Sara Rose, development and communication specialist.
The Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund has awarded the center funding to provide resource materials, technology to assist survivors of brain injury and training to build skills for effective peer support services.
Many times the primary assistance provided by the volunteers of the support center is knowledge of what other programs are available to support individuals, Rose said.
Materials purchased with funding from the Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund includes workbooks focused on the survivor and their family to assist with living more independently, speech recognition therapy tools and DVDs to aid families in understanding some of what to expect.
Group members said the group has helped them better participate and enjoy social gatherings without anxiety or feeling embarrassed.
Rose said group members have said the support helps know there were others going through what they are, to understand their limitations and gave them access to more information on brain injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 2.4 million children and adults in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury, and another 795,000 individuals sustain an acquired brain injury from non-traumatic causes each year.
More than 5.3 million children and adults in the U.S. live with a lifelong disability as a result of TBI and an estimated 1.1 million have a disability due to stroke.