By Sarah Griggs, a specialist brain injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell
This year’s Action For Brain Injury Week runs from 16-22 May and is focusing on raising awareness and understanding of the often misunderstood and ‘hidden’ symptoms of a brain injury.
The campaign entitled ‘See the hidden me’ is about empowering survivors to talk about those aspects of a brain injury that make their lives more challenging. Action For Brain Injury Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the effects of brain injury and is organised by the charity Headway.
Brain injury - the hidden symptoms
As a trustee of my local Headway Group, Headway East London, and specialist brain injury solicitor, I see many clients with brain injuries who struggle with the hidden symptoms of their brain injury.
These can include symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, dizziness, mood swings and anxiety, increased vulnerability and loss of sense of taste and smell. These are all symptoms which can have a hugely disabling impact on all aspects of daily living.
The aim of the awareness week is to support and empower individuals to talk about these hidden disabilities that has made life more challenging, whilst also asking the general public for more understanding and respect by raising awareness of the invisible challenges that survivors of brain injury experience on a daily basis.
Improved support for brain injury survivors
The Government has now committed to producing a strategy to deliver support to people living with an acquired brain injury and the development of this strategy is being led by MPs Gillian Keegan and Chris Bryant who are Minister of State for Care and Mental Health and Chair of the All Parliamentary Group on Acquired Brain Injury respectively.
I was delighted to attend the launch of the strategy in the House of Commons in March (pictured) and to hear such powerful speeches from brain injury survivors and their families as well as specialist health practitioners who work with patients with a brain injury.
Greater understanding vital to securing the best possible care
A greater understanding of the hidden symptoms of a brain injury is vital to get the best possible care and treatment to those with acquired brain injuries and other neurological conditions and Action For Brain Injury Week is a fantastic way to raise awareness and understanding.
The strategy includes a Call for Evidence which will help the Government to focus on its priorities. Those with lived experience of brain injury, carers and professionals are all invited to respond and take part.
The call for evidence is still open until 6 June, 2022. More information and how to join the consultation is available on the Government's website.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting people and families affected by brain injury whether through an accident, medical negligence or following an assault at our dedicated brain injury claims section.