Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. In New Zealand there are approximately 32,000 traumatic brain injuries (TBI) per year (based on reported ACC claims). ABI is a specialist brain injury rehabilitation provider.  Not only are we committed to providing best practice rehabilitation interventions, but it is important for us to be involved in raising awareness of brain injury and rehabilitation amongst the general public, our GP colleagues, and colleagues who work in Accident and Medical Centres and DHB’s.  

ABI supports clients who present with concussion, mild, moderate and severe TBI. Today’s post is about Concussion. Watch this space for further posts about other types of brain injuries.

What is a concussion?

Concussion is a type of mild TBI caused by a bump, jolt, blow to the head that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.  This movement can cause the brain to bounce around and twist inside the skull which can cause chemical changes and stretched or damaged brain cells. These brain changes from concussion and mild TBI do not show up on an x-ray or scans.  

Concussion facts: 

  • You don’t have to have a blow directly to the head, impact anywhere on your body that causes your head/brain to shake violently can cause a concussion or mild TBI.
  • You do not need to be knocked out to experience a concussion.
  • If you have had one concussion you may be at risk of having another one and recovery from subsequent ones can take longer.

Rehabilitation support for concussion and mild TBI:

Early intervention, education and recovery advice is been found to facilitate recovery.  Most people recover in the first few weeks to month following a concussion or mild TBI, however emerging research is showing that many take longer to recover and need specialist interdisciplinary approaches.

ABI Rehabilitation provides interdisciplinary concussion rehabilitation programmes in Northland, Auckland, Kāpiti Coast, Manawatū, Wairarapa and Wellington. We have an experienced and skilled team of clinicians who can support children and adults aged from birth throughout adulthood who have had a concussion or TBI. The team assists and advises with a return to work school, sport and all activities that are important to the client, as soon as possible.

ABI is able to receive direct referrals, without any ACC approval from GP’s, Accident and Medical (A&M’s) and DHBs.  

The ABI Concussion Services team includes the following clinicians:

  • Occupational Therapists
  • Neuro-physiotherapists
  • Rehabilitation Medicine Physicians
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Psychologists
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Other rehabilitation clinicians who may be required

If you would like to know more about ABI’s Concussion Services rehabilitation programme, please contact the ABI Community Services Managers: 

Auckland and Northland Rachelle Bennett
Wellington, Kāpiti Wairarapa and Manawatū Kristen Clarke

For any referrals, please feel free to send these directly to us at