Organization: Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska (BIA-NE)
Mission: To create a better future for all Nebraskans through brain injury prevention, education, support, and advocacy.
Funded Program Description: BIA-NE has partnered with the Mental Health Association of Nebraska (MHA-NE) to increase brain injury awareness among the clients they serve in the Lincoln area. In February, BIA-NE offered brain injury training for staff at MHA-NE. BIA-NE then worked with key MHA-NE staff to implement an evidence-based brain injury screening tool within their criminal and justice-involved reentry programs and mental health and additions programs. Incidence rates are being tallied by Dr. Kathy Chiou at UNL. Preliminary findings indicate that 77% of those screened have screened positive for brain injury. For those screening positive, MHA has been encouraged to offer those clients tip sheets on brain injury management and refer their clients to BIA-NE for brain injury resource facilitation services should they be needed.
Successes of Program or Inspirational Stories: Many of the individuals who screened positive indicated that they have never been medically diagnosed as having a brain injury. However, after completing the screening questions which asks about hits to their head, periods of feeling dazed and confused, and brain injury symptoms, individuals have shown an interest in learning more about brain injury and how this intersects with their mental health diagnosis. In addition to offering the tips sheets and making resource facilitation services available, BIA-NE and Dr. Kathy Chiou at UNL are offering 90-minute brain injury modules via zoom to further educate individuals about brain injury and how to manage its effects.