National Concussion Awareness Day 2017

The third Friday of September each year is declared National Concussion Awareness Day

ABOUT

Our mission is to start a conversation to increase concussion awareness nationally, raise funds for brain injury charitable organizations and show support for those suffering though social media, community events and press coverage of National Concussion Awareness Day®. National Concussion Awareness Day® is recognized on the third Friday of September yearly and is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Our vision is that those suffering the effects of mild traumatic brain injuries feel supported by their community and feel empowered to share their story, connect with one another and act to raise global consciousness of the concussion epidemic.

National Concussion Awareness Day ® was founded by 18-year-old Brooke Mills, who suffered a concussion as a freshman in high school. Concussions have become an epidemic in the United States, with millions of mild traumatic brain injuries happening each year. The purpose of National Concussion Awareness Day ® is to create an opportunity for public discussion of this issue. By raising awareness of the importance of recognizing a concussion, treating it appropriately and supporting the injured we can positively impact lives across the country.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?

Everyone! National Concussion Awareness Day ® is a chance for brain injury survivors, caregivers, health care practitioners, teachers, coaches, athletes, parents and the general public to connect and discuss baseline testing, signs and symptoms and the social and emotional issues that can result from mild traumatic brain injury. Health care professionals, non-profit organizations and individuals from across the United States will be participating in the second annual National Concussion Awareness Day ® on Friday, September 15, 2017. National Concussion Awareness Day® is recognized by the Brain Injury Association of America.

WHAT CAN I DO?

We invite you to participate in National Concussion Awareness Day ® in one of three easy ways:

1. Share your story! Spread concussion awareness by sharing your story with your local newspaper, TV or radio station (see our template to create your own easy press release). Or you can simply share your story on your own social media. Remember to use the hashtag #nationalconcussionawarenessday

2. Create an educational opportunity. You can host an information table at your school, library or public place. Or invite a local concussion expert as a speaker to your school, work or community group. The BIAA is providing downloadable information sheets free of charge — use them for your information table or as an event handout.

3. Host your own fundraiser to benefit the Brain Injury Association of America. You can have a bake sale, host a restaurant fundraiser, start a social media donation page or even host a car wash. Be creative and have fun with your fundraiser. Send your fundraiser proceeds, indicating “National Concussion Awareness Day” on your check, to: Brain Injury Association of America PO Box 7416 Merrifield, VA 22116–7416

Listen to a podcast with Dr. Stephanie Mills and her daughter, Brooke: http://bit.ly/2wrRMoo

Concussions have become an epidemic in the United States, with over 2.8 million traumatic brain injuries happening annually. On Friday, September 15th National Concussion Awareness Day® will raise awareness across the United States through local educational events, social media, fundraisers and expert discussions in the media.

According to a poll by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center nearly 9 out of 10 adults in the US can’t correctly define a concussion. The Center for Disease Control defines a concussion as “a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.”

Up to 50% of concussions go undiagnosed and untreated. Symptoms commonly last 7–10 days, and include any one or more of the following: headache, confusion, difficulty remembering or paying attention, balance problems or dizziness, feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy, feeling irritable, more emotional, or “down”, nausea or vomiting, bothered by light or noise, double or blurry vision, slowed reaction time, sleep problems, or loss of consciousness. For some people concussion symptoms can persist longer, called Post Concussion Syndrome. Post Concussion Syndrome can last for weeks, months or even years.

A concussion is a mild form of brain injury and should be taken seriously. Culturally, many Americans view a concussion as no big deal, perhaps having been told themselves to “shake it off” or “play through it.” However, returning to situations where an injured person faces another potential blow to the head before a concussion fully heals can result in “Second Impact Syndrome” which can be serious and potentially life threatening.

If you have suffered a concussion, share your story on social media Friday, September 15th and use #NationalConcussionAwarenessDay to tag it. Donations to the Brain Injury Association of America can be made at www.biausa.org

Read more by Amy Zellmer on Huff Post: www.huffingtonpost.com/author/amy-zellmer-634

Amy Zellmer is an award-winning author, speaker, and advocate of traumatic brain injury (TBI). She is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, and has created a privateFacebook group for survivors and also produces a podcast series. She sits on the Brain Injury Advisory Council (BIAC) through the Brain Injury Association of America’s and is involved with the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance. She travels the country with her Yorkie, Pixxie, to help raise awareness about this silent and invisible injury that affects over 2.5 million Americans each year.

In November, 2015 she released her first book, “Life With a Traumatic Brain Injury: Finding the Road Back to Normal” which received a silver award at the Midwest Book Awards in May, 2016. Her second book, “Surviving Brain Injury: Stories of Strength and Inspiration”is a collection of stories written by brain injury survivors and caregivers and was released November 2016. for more information: www.facesoftbi.com

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Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on September 14, 2017.

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