Head Injury - the ‘Silent Epidemic’

Head injury does not discriminate; it can happen to ANYONE, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE

June is Head Injury Awareness month and THINK! The Head Injury Network for Kiwis is working hard to raise awareness of head injury in the community. A new head injury occurs every 15 minutes in New Zealand and it is imperative that we get the message out that head injury impacts on the person, their family and the community, says Manager, Ella Scheepers. Head injury is referred to as the 'silent epidemic', as the effects go largely unseen and can have long term consequences.

Quote from clients – ‘because our injuries aren’t visible on the outside, it seems as though nothing is wrong. That couldn’t be further from the truth’.

Planned activities include a sausage sizzle in front of Wholly Cow, Victoria Street, Cambridge on Friday, 13th June from 10am to 2pm as a fundraiser.

A display and home made baking in front of BNZ, 56 Arawa Street, Matamata on Friday, 20th June from 10am to 3pm.

People in the community are invited to support us and pick up information from our display.

There is a “Living with a Brain Injury’ Seminar with Dr Ron Dick, Neuropsychologist, on 25th June from 1pm to 2:30pm at The Link, St Andrews Church Community Centre, Hamilton. The cost is $20 and it is open to Allied Health Professionals and Service Providers. Information available on the website www.thinknz.org.nz or contact the office.

Businesses, community groups and schools are invited to participate in our annual ‘Hats on Friday” event on Friday, 27th June. This event is to raise awareness of head injury. People wear a fun hat of their choice and donate a gold coin towards much needed resources. Please email your photos to admin@thinknz.org.nz

Anyone interested in volunteering during Head Injury Awareness month or any other time should contact our office.

Through awareness and support we can make a difference.

You can contact the THINK! office on 07 839 1191 or email admin@thinknz.org.nz for more information about any of these events or for support and information.

Keeping in touch with our Community The ‘Silent Epidemic’ exposed 2013

One new head injury occurs on average every 15 minutes in NZ.

Head injury does not discriminate; it can happen to ANYONE, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE.

CONCUSSION IS A BRAIN INJURY

This is the message that THINK! is aiming to get out there says Spokesperson, Elizabeth Charleston. June is Head Injury Awareness month and the staff and volunteers are working hard to raise awareness and prevention of head injury in the community. Head injury is referred to as the 'silent epidemic', as the effects go largely unseen and can have long term consequences. Head injury can and often does result in significant and long-standing symptoms ranging from memory difficulties to seizures, depression and social dysfunction.

To raise awareness we have a street appeal in Hamilton CBD on Friday, 7th June. Please consider donating when approached by any of our volunteers.

We would like to invite businesses, community groups and schools to participate in our annual ‘Hats on Friday” event on Friday, 14th June. This is a fun day when people wear a hat of their choice and donate a gold coin towards much needed resources. There will be a prize for the best hat, so please take photos and email it to us at admin@thinknz.org.nz.

THINK! will also have a display with information in front of BNZ in Victoria Street, Cambridge on Friday, 14th June. Staff and volunteers will be there with their hats on to talk to people who have sustained a head injury and their families or would like information.

Raffles tickets for a meat voucher kindly sponsored by Matamata Butchery are available from the Butcher and will be sold outside on 14th June. Homemade baking will also be available at the same time.

We have two Living with a Brain Injury Seminars with different guest speakers on Thursday, 6th June and on Friday, 21st June.

We are also offering presentations to schools, community groups or businesses that would like to know more about head injury and the effect it has on the family, friends, workplace and the general community. Speakers will be people who sustained a head injury or have had a family member who has. Each speaker has their own unique story to share.

If you have a head injury which results in losing consciousness or being dazed and confused you need to seek medical attention immediately.

Through awareness and support we can make a difference.

You can contact the THINK! office on 07 839 1191 for more information about any of these events or for support and information.

Fundraiser for Awareness and Prevention of Head Injury

What is Stephen Cox, Event Director of Dynamo Events and former Olympian doing with himself these days? You may think his participation in road cycling in the 1984 Olympic games and the 1978, 1982 and 1986 Commonwealth games are behind him, instead he is putting on his riding gear again to participate in one leg of the BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle challenge - all in the name of charity. Stephen is raising funds for THINK! The Head Injury Network for Kiwis, and to support him in this effort, visit his fundraising page www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/StephenCox.

THINK! The Head Injury Network for Kiwis is the chosen charity for the BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge says THINK! spokesperson Elizabeth Charleston. This event presents the perfect opportunity for THINK! to promote awareness and prevention of head injury across New Zealand. Vital services provided by THINK! include information, education, support and advocacy. THINK! is working hard to get the message across that head injury is a ‘silent epidemic’. According to the latest research published in the prestigious international medical journal, The Lancet on 22nd November 2012, a new traumatic brain injury (TBI) including concussion occurs on average every 15 minutes in New Zealand. This far surpasses the number of heart attacks and more than five times the number of new strokes. Brain injuries, including stroke and traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of disability and death in New Zealand, according to lead researcher Prof Valery Feigin from AUT University’s National Institute for Stroke & Applied Neuroscience.

More information about this charity is available on the website, www.thinknz.org.nz and facebook page www.facebook.com/THINKHeadInjuryAwarenessNZ. To support THINK! with raising awareness and prevention of head injury, go to www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/THINKTheHeadInjuryNetwork.

THINK! welcomed Ken Feist as the THINK! Cycling Ambassador in 2012. Feist was hit by a car while on a training ride several years ago and suffered a head injury. Despite many setbacks with his health, he has gone on to compete internationally in cyclocross racing and raises awareness of head injuries in his role as Ambassador for THINK!. Feist will be representing THINK! in the BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge and is raising money for this charity via his www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/KenFeist page.

The support of Dynamo Events, and BDO, Major sponsor of this event has been tremendous and THINK! is very proud to be associated with this awesome event. The BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge event runs from Sunday 10th February through to Saturday 16th February 2013. The 13 stage challenge organised by Hamilton based Dynamo Events sees riders start off from Wellington and cycle through the North Island finishing in Pukekohe. Information about the BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge is available on the Dynamo Events website: www.dynamoevents.co.nz. Go to Dynamo Events website to see when we will be coming through your area.

'Epidemic' of brain injuries in NZ - study

By Abby Gillies: Thursday Nov 22, 2012

The number of New Zealanders with traumatic brain injuries has reached "epidemic levels", with a new injury occurring on average every 15 minutes, a world-first study has revealed.

The number is significantly higher than in other developed countries, and children, young adults, men, Maori and rural inhabitants are most at risk of sustaining one, Auckland researchers found.

Previous statistics "grossly underestimated the extent of traumatic brain injury in New Zealand", said lead researcher Professor Valery Feigin from AUT University's National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience.

Instead the research, published today in prestigious international medical journal The Lancet, found that each year an estimated 36,000 new traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur - far surpassing the number of heart attacks and more than five times the number of new strokes.

Most were due to falls, 38 per cent, followed by mechanical forces, transport accidents, and assaults.

Strategies are urgently needed to reverse this "silent epidemic", said Professor Feigin.

A TBI is caused by an external force, such as a bump or blow to the head, which disrupts the normal function of the brain.

The effects range from mild memory difficulties to dementia, seizures and depression.

"Often people with head injuries don't realise they've had a brain injury. Anyone with a head injury resulting in losing consciousness or being dazed and confused should seek medical attention immediately,"said Professor Feigin.

The study looked at the incidence of TBI in more than 173,200 Waikato residents between 2010 and 2011.

Rates of injuries in New Zealand, 790 cases per 100,000 people each year, were far higher than other developed countries in Europe, 47-453 cases per 100,000 people and North America (51-618 cases).

Brain injuries, including stroke and traumatic brain injury, is the leading cause of disability and death in New Zealand.

Previous figures put the estimated cost on the health system as $100 million a year, said Professor Feigin, but he expected this figure to rise significantly.

Researchers also found the number of mild traumatic brain injuries sustained "alarming", said Professor Feigin.

"The consequences of mild TBI are not mild at all. Generally speaking, mild TBI is characterised by a relatively short loss of memory of the event of the injury or what has happened just after the injury, and/or a very minor loss of consciousness at the time of the injury."

36,000 new brain injuries in NZ each year, incidence at “epidemic proportions”

AUT University: 22 Nov 2012

The number of people with traumatic brain injuries in New Zealand is at “epidemic proportions” according to the lead investigator of a study published today in the international medical journal The Lancet.

A research team led by Professor Valery Feigin at AUT University’s National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience estimates that more than 36,000 new traumatic brain injuries occur in New Zealand each year. Previous statistics have grossly underestimated the extent of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in New Zealand, says Professor Feigin.

“This means one new TBI happens every 15 minutes, far more than the number of new heart attacks and greater than five times the number of new strokes. The true burden of TBI in New Zealand is far greater than expected and new strategies are urgently needed to reverse this ‘silent epidemic’,” he says.

A TBI occurs when an external force, such as a bump or blow to the head disrupts the normal function of the brain. The population-based study is the first of its kind globally.

The BIONIC (Brain Injury Outcomes New Zealand In the Community) study looked at the incidence of TBI in over 173,200 residents in the Waikato region during 2010-2011. Findings reveal that rates of TBI in New Zealand (790 cases per 100,000 people per year) were far higher than other developed countries in Europe (47 – 453 cases per 100,000 people per year) and North America (51 – 618 cases per 100,000 people per year).

Children, young adults, men, Maori and rural inhabitants were all found to be at increased risk of sustaining a TBI. Most TBIs were due to falls (37.7%), mechanical forces (21.0%), transport accidents (20.2%) and assaults (16.7%).

“Often, people with head injuries don’t realise they’ve had a brain injury. People need to know that if they’ve had any head injury which results in losing consciousness or being dazed and confused then they need to seek medical attention immediately.”

Acquired brain injury - including stroke and traumatic brain injury - is the leading cause of disability and death in New Zealand. Previous data estimated that brain injuries cost the health system approximately $100 million per year, but Feigin expects this figure to rise significantly.

According to Feigin, the number of mild traumatic brain injuries sustained was also alarming. “95% of all cases were found to be mild TBI - far greater than anyone expected and substantially higher than recent World Health Organisation estimates of 100–300 cases per 100 000 people per year.”

“The consequences of mild TBI are not mild at all. Generally speaking, mild TBI is characterised by a relatively short loss of memory of the event of the injury or what has happened just after the injury, and/or a very minor loss of consciousness at the time of the injury.

“TBIs can and often do result in significant and long-standing deficits ranging from mild memory difficulties to dementia, seizures, depression and social disadaptation. If people with mild TBI are treated in a timely manner then many of these consequences can be avoided.”

  • In New Zealand, most TBIs were due to falls (37.7%), mechanical forces (21.0%), transport accidents (20.2%) and assaults (16.7%).
  • Children (0-14 years old) and adolescents/young adults (15-34 years old) constituted almost 70% of all TBI cases, far higher than the 40-60% reported in previous studies.
  • Males had a 77% greater risk of sustaining TBI than females.
  • Compared to NZ Europeans, the risk of sustaining TBI in Maori was 23% greater.
  • The risk of moderate-severe TBI in the rural population was almost 2.5 times greater than in the urban population.
  • 95% of all cases were found to be mild TBI.
  • 35% of people with acute TBI do not seek immediate medical attention.
  • An estimated 54-60 million people worldwide sustain a TBI each year.
  • Globally, some 2.2-3.6 million people incur moderate or severe TBI, which is almost six times higher than previous estimates.
  • It is projected that TBI will become the third largest cause of global disease burden by 2020.

For more information contact:

Professor Valery Feigin, Director of the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand. T. +64 9 921 9166 M. +64 27 4646 200 E. valery.feigin@aut.ac.nz W. http://www.nisan.aut.ac.nz/

Anthea McLeary, Communications Manager, Faculty of Health & Environmental Sciences, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand, M. +64 21 22 56 427, E. anthea.mcleary@aut.ac.nz W. www.aut.ac.nz

36,000 new brain injuries each year, “epidemic proportions"

Press Release: AUT University, Thursday, 22 November 2012

The number of people with traumatic brain injuries in New Zealand is at “epidemic proportions” according to the lead investigator of a study published today in the international medical journal The Lancet.

A research team led by Professor Valery Feigin at AUT University’s National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience estimates that more than 36,000 new traumatic brain injuries occur in New Zealand each year. Previous statistics have grossly underestimated the extent of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in New Zealand, says Professor Feigin.

“This means one new TBI happens every 15 minutes, far more than the number of new heart attacks and greater than five times the number of new strokes. The true burden of TBI in New Zealand is far greater than expected and new strategies are urgently needed to reverse this ‘silent epidemic’,” he says.

A TBI occurs when an external force, such as a bump or blow to the head disrupts the normal function of the brain. The population-based study is the first of its kind globally.

The BIONIC (Brain Injury Outcomes New Zealand In the Community) study looked at the incidence of TBI in over 173,200 residents in the Waikato region during 2010-2011. Findings reveal that rates of TBI in New Zealand (790 cases per 100,000 people per year) were far higher than other developed countries in Europe (47 – 453 cases per 100,000 people per year) and North America (51 – 618 cases per 100,000 people per year).

Children, young adults, men, Maori and rural inhabitants were all found to be at increased risk of sustaining a TBI. Most TBIs were due to falls (37.7%), mechanical forces (21.0%), transport accidents (20.2%) and assaults (16.7%).

“Often, people with head injuries don’t realise they’ve had a brain injury. People need to know that if they’ve had any head injury which results in losing consciousness or being dazed and confused then they need to seek medical attention immediately.”

Acquired brain injury - including stroke and traumatic brain injury - is the leading cause of disability and death in New Zealand. Previous data estimated that brain injuries cost the health system approximately $100 million per year, but Feigin expects this figure to rise significantly.

According to Feigin, the number of mild traumatic brain injuries sustained was also alarming. “95% of all cases were found to be mild TBI - far greater than anyone expected and substantially higher than recent World Health Organisation estimates of 100–300 cases per 100 000 people per year.”

“The consequences of mild TBI are not mild at all. Generally speaking, mild TBI is characterised by a relatively short loss of memory of the event of the injury or what has happened just after the injury, and/or a very minor loss of consciousness at the time of the injury.

“TBIs can and often do result in significant and long-standing deficits ranging from mild memory difficulties to dementia, seizures, depression and social disadaptation. If people with mild TBI are treated in a timely manner then many of these consequences can be avoided.”

  • In New Zealand, most TBIs were due to falls (37.7%), mechanical forces (21.0%), transport accidents (20.2%) and assaults (16.7%).
  • Children (0-14 years old) and adolescents/young adults (15-34 years old) constituted almost 70% of all TBI cases, far higher than the 40-60% reported in previous studies.
  • Males had a 77% greater risk of sustaining TBI than females.
  • Compared to NZ Europeans, the risk of sustaining TBI in Maori was 23% greater.
  • The risk of moderate-severe TBI in the rural population was almost 2.5 times greater than in the urban population.
  • 95% of all cases were found to be mild TBI.
  • 35% of people with acute TBI do not seek immediate medical attention.
  • An estimated 54-60 million people worldwide sustain a TBI each year.
  • Globally, some 2.2-3.6 million people incur moderate or severe TBI, which is almost six times higher than previous estimates.
  • It is projected that TBI will become the third largest cause of global disease burden by 2020.

ACC urged to improve for brain injury victims

Publishedby TVNZ: 8:30PM Friday November 23, 2012

Labour says ACC should investigate the implications of a recent Lancet report on brain injury and make appropriate changes to their programmes and approaches.

The report says the number of people with traumatic brain injuries in New Zealand is at "epidemic proportions".

A research team led by Professor Valery Feigin at AUT University's National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience estimates that more than 36,000 new traumatic brain injuries occur in New Zealand each year.

The population-based study is the first of its kind globally, and Feigin says previous statistics have grossly underestimated the extent of traumatic brain injury.

"One new TBI happens every 15 minutes, far more than the number of new heart attacks and greater than five times the number of new strokes. The true burden of TBI in New Zealand is far greater than expected and new strategies are urgently needed to reverse this 'silent epidemic'," he said.

Labour's ACC spokesperson Andrew Little says claimants face enormous difficulty getting assistance for a head injury if the symptoms emerge long after the accident causing the injury, which is often the case.

"My observation from dealing with many ACC claimants with head injuries, mostly quite mild ones, is that if ACC doesn't see anything physically wrong they assume there is no issue.

"It also seems that ACC staff sometimes don't realise that the 'difficult' claimant they are dealing with may have a brain injury, something which calls for a different approach than the sometimes exasperated one some claimants experience," Little said.

The study looked at the incidence of TBI in over 173,200 residents in the Waikato region during 2010-2011 and findings revealed that the rates in New Zealand were far higher than other developed countries in Europe and North America.

Children, young adults, men, Maori and rural inhabitants were all found to be at increased risk of sustaining a TBI. Most TBIs were due to falls (37.7%), mechanical forces (21.0%), transport accidents (20.2%) and assaults (16.7%).

"Often, people with head injuries don't realise they've had a brain injury. People need to know that if they've had any head injury which results in losing consciousness or being dazed and confused then they need to seek medical attention immediately," Feigin said.

Acquired brain injury - including stroke and traumatic brain injury - is the leading cause of disability and death in New Zealand.

NZ researchers say brain injuries underestimated

Dominique Schwartz reported this story on Friday, November 23, 2012

MARK COLVIN: Researchers in New Zealand say traumatic brain injury has reached epidemic proportions there and has most likely been greatly underestimated in other countries.

A team from the Auckland University of Technology has published the findings of its study in the international medical journal, The Lancet.

The scientists have found that there's a new traumatic brain injury in New Zealand every 15 minutes.

New Zealand correspondent Dominique Schwartz reports.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: Traumatic brain injury is itself a huge global health trauma, affecting as many as 60 million people each year.

It can be caused by a fall, a car accident, an assault, a sporting injury or any kind of knock to the head.

Severe cases are easy to pick, but according to professor Valery Feigin, mild traumatic brain injury often goes undiagnosed, with potentially severe and costly consequences.

VALERY FEIGIN: Mild traumatic brain injury is usually characterized by very short loss of consciousness or memory loss with the event of the injury which is lasting less than 24 hours, that memory loss.

And although it may look very mild, it may and often do lead to serious complications ranging from mild memory difficulties to dementia, Alzheimer's disease and even stroke.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: Professor Feigin is the director of the Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience at Auckland University of Technology. His research team studied the incidence of traumatic brain injury in 170,000 residents in the North Island region of Waikato.

Previous research has relied upon hospital and official health data to determine the extent of traumatic brain injury, known as TBI. But Professor Feigin's team also canvassed service providers, sporting associations, schools and other community groups in its bid to find the hidden cases of TBI.

The results were staggering. The researchers found a TBI rate 30 to 40 per cent higher than in Europe and North America.

VALERY FEIGIN: Our estimates show that there are 36,000 New Zealanders affected by new traumatic brain injury every year, which is far more than the number of heart attacks or strokes in our country.

The main reason I believe that the difference is, is that we used a most complete cases attainment. We captured all mild traumatic brain injuries. Many of them, one third of them, had never admitted to the hospital and were missed from the previous studies in Europe and North America.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: So is it your belief then, in other countries and with studies at least one third potentially of people affected by brain trauma have been missed?

VALERY FEIGIN: Exactly. Exactly.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: The study found that children and young adults accounted for two-thirds of all TBI cases. Maori and people in rural communities were also over-represented.

Falls, not transport accidents, were by far the biggest cause of traumatic brain injury. The good news, according to professor Feigin, is that most TBI cases are mild.

VALERY FEIGIN: The majority of people with mild traumatic brain injury, the immediate outcomes is very favourable.

But yet 30 to 70 per cent of people with mild traumatic brain injury suffer from mild cognitive impairments, especially memory difficulties, and many of them suffer from changes of personality, of character.

They may have difficulties in the family because of that. They may be may socially disintegrated as a result of brain injury and this is a much bigger problem than just the immediate effect of the mild traumatic brain injury.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: It's no coincidence perhaps that prison populations have high rates of traumatic brain injury. Professor Feigin says there needs to be much greater awareness and treatment of TBI and people need to know that any head injury is worth getting checked out.

This is Dominique Schwartz in Auckland for PM.

Cycling fans help launch BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge

Cycling New Zealand Article - 18 October 2012

Cycling enthusiasts in Wellington and Auckland hit the roads at 6.30am on Friday 12 October to launch the BDO Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge.

BDO, major sponsor of the 2013 race, is New Zealand’s fifth largest accounting network and part of the world’s fifth largest international accounting network.

In Auckland, keen supporters cycled in to the CBD to breakfast at Sierra in the BDO tower joined by paralympic bronze medal cyclist Fiona Southorn and racing pro former Pure Black, Tim Gudsell, before heading off to TVNZ to feature on the Good Morning breakfast show.

In the cycle-crazy Capital, enthusiasts gathered together at Oriental Bay to take an early morning 60-minute ride round the waterfront. They were joined by the city’s most well-known cycling fanatic Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown who’s done wonders for the city’s cycle-ways; professional racer Craig Lawn and Ken Feast of the event’s beneficiary charity THINK, the head injury network.

BDO is already well established in cycling as the sponsor of the BDO Tour of Northland and so has worked closely with Dynamo Events, organisers of the Wellington to Auckland Cycle Challenge.

“BDO is crazy about cycling,” said participating Wellington cyclist BDO Partner Doug Haines. “It’s accessible to everyone, encourages good health and strong camaraderie. BDO has embraced the benefits of cycling, as have many of our clients who we will encourage to be involved in this event."

Indeed, BDO’s so keen to encourage more people to take up the sport it has introduced a new category into next year’s event called the corporate challenge.

“We have already got the BDO team together, and now we’re putting out a challenge to any others to accountants, bankers, lawyers and corporates to try and beat us!”

BDO Chairman David O’Connor says the firm has embraced cycling because of its ‘universal’ qualities and obvious health and environmental benefits.

“Cycling cuts across so many facets of people’s lives. You can do it alone, or with others, competitively or socially and obviously it is an extremely healthy and environmentally friendly way to get to work!

“As cyclists ourselves, we want to ensure events of this calibre are available for riders of all levels, which is why cycling is an important part of our sponsorship programme.”

The BDO Wellington to Auckland Challenge runs over seven days during the middle of February; an 800km ride spread over 13 stages.

For more information and registration details visit www.bdo.co.nz

Keeping in touch with our Community
The Silent Epidemic exposed 2012

On 1st June 2012, the Head Injury Society (Waikato) Inc will begin trading as THINK! THE HEAD INJURY NETWORK FOR KIWIS.

Our facebook page has been running for over two years now, and it has been very successful thanks to the hard work of Elizabeth Charleston, who is one of our members.

Our two Field Officers, Marion Baird and Te Awhina Paerata, provide an Advocacy, Support & Information service to people who are head injured, their families/whanau, carers and the community. We are now expanding the arm of Awareness and Prevention of Head Injury in the wider community.

This year we will be running a month long Awareness Campaign in June. We are hoping that businesses, community groups and schools will get behind our “THINK! Hats on Friday” campaign on 22nd June. Everyone wears a hat and they donate a gold coin. The money raised will cover the cost of printing much needed resources that can be utilised by schools, sports clubs and the general community.

Last year we had third year Occupational Therapist students from Otago University campus at Wintec, who put together resources. We have been unable to implement these due to a lack of funds.

We are also offering presentations to schools, community groups or businesses that wish to find out more about Head Injuries and the effect it has on the family, friends, workplace and the general community. The majority of the speakers will be people who sustained a head injury or have had a family member who has. Each speaker has a very interesting story to tell and everyone’s story is different.

The Bionic research team from Waikato University has been conducting a study to determine the impact of head injury in New Zealand over a 12 month period, and the results should be available around July 2012. We are looking forward to the outcomes of this study as it will give us up-to-date information which has not been available before.

What we do know is that the Waikato area has the worst statistic for Head Injuries sustained from road and farming accidents. Also, head injury is prevalent in youth and often goes undiagnosed. This can cause issues with social behaviour, schooling and life in general. It is safe to say that 78,910 children under the age of 16 each year suffer from some form of head injury.

Brain injury is the leading cause of death and or disability in youth (15-24 years) and early middle age. There is thought to be 20,000 to 30,000 incidents of this kind a year.

People with a brain injury don’t have their head wrapped in a bandage or a cast, therefore their injury often goes unrecognised whilst the symptoms can be devastating and life long. Hence the silent epidemic.

A head injury can happen to anyone, at anytime and this year it most certainly will happen to someone you know.

We hope that your business, community group or school will get behind our Awareness Campaign and have a “THINK! Hats on Friday” on 22nd June.

For further information contact THINK! THE HEAD INJURY NETWORK FOR KIWIS.
Email: admin@thinknz.org.nz or phone 07 8391191.
Catch us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/THINKHeadInjuryAwarenessNZ