Every year

165,000

Canadians have a traumatic brain injury (excluding concussions)

About the Documentary

Following the personal stories of brain injury survivors, A Change of Mind is a documentary that explores new approaches to helping survivors through science, changes in societal attitudes and legal reform.

“We can pay now – or pay so much more later”

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Contributors

Derick Forsyth

Brain Injury Survivor

Judge Ernie Quantz

BC Provincial Court

Dr. Brian Hunt

Retired Neuro Surgeon BC Concussion Advisory Network

Dr. Michael Cusimano

Professor, Neurosurgery, St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto.

Dr. Gabriell Ilie

Research Post Doctoral Fellow St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto

Geoff Sing

Director of the Cridge Brain Injury Services and a Brain Injury Survivor

Dr. Wayne Gordon

Chief of Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology services, Mount Sinai Hospital New York

Janelle Breese Biagioni

Author, Counsellor, Program Coordinator for the Cridge Brain Injury Services.

The Statistics

90% of marriages affected by brain injury end in divorce.

Proper rehabilitation requires a support network. When unguided, the emotional turmoil, behavioural changes and pressure of a traumatic brain injury can break down even the strongest relationships.

55% of the homeless population in Canada and US have suffered a brain injury.

The lack of appropriate rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury survivors means that many of them cannot find work after and, unable to afford the cost of living, become caught in a downward economic spiral.

In Ontario, 92% of men and 100% of women who sustain brain injury never return to full-time employment.

Re-entering the workforce is essential to recover financial stability and has an immense psychological impact.

In Canada, the economic burden of acquired brain injuries and treatment is estimated to be greater than $12.7 billion per year.

Reactive measures cost much more than pro-active action.

60-80% of people in prison have untreated acquired brain injuries, most injured before ever committing a crime.

*Shown in surveys in the US, New Zealand and Europe.

Untreated brain injury often leads to ‘self-medication.’ Self-medication often leads to crime.

Substance, drug and alcohol abuse can become a dangerous coping mechanism for many brain injury survivors who don’t receive the appropriate assistance.

Our brain is the most important and precious organ.

- Derrick Forsyth
Initial Lack of Insight
Lack of Initiative
Poor Planning & Problem Solving
Impulsivity
Fatigue
Mood Swings
Poor Concentration
Short-Term Memory Loss

The collective costs incurred from traumatic brain injuries impact a whole community, and we have the decision to pay the initial costs upfront or deal with the consequences later. The current system in Canada is reactionary, but if we were to increase funding to immediate support services, invest in research, early detection, diagnosis and treatment at early stages, we would would reduce the negative impact on the lives of those who have suffered traumatic brain injury as well as the associated long-term financial costs we pay as a nation.