Everything the BIAMI does is intended for the benefit of survivors, but nothing is closer to the heart of our mission than support. A DIRECT LINE TO HELP That support is manifest on a daily basis via our toll-free hotline, which received almost 3000 calls last year from survivors, family members and even healthcare professionals. These calls range from frantic “what do we do now?” pleas from relatives of TBI survivors just released from the hospital with no idea of “what next,” to those asking about available financial resources, legal assistance, referrals to CARF-accredited rehabilitation facilities, and questions on the availability of TBI-oriented specialized care in physical medicine, psychological support, vision, case management, and vocational, occupational, speech, physical, and other therapeutic regimes. Long-time BIAMI staffer Kathie Sell fields many of these calls and provides the kind of empathy and helpful responses unique to those with personal experience of brain injury. Additionally, during the 2018 holidays, BIAMI was pleased to assist eight survivor members and their families through our Adopt-A-Family program supported by BIAMI and our partners. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT While a hotline call can suffice for many informational purposes, there are times when a personal meeting is preferable. To that end, BIAMI staff meet frequently with survivors and family members. Chapters and support groups have been, since the BIAMI’s founding, a linchpin of our connection to, and bond with, survivors and families. As of December 2018, 20 chapters and support groups have been established, including two new support groups in areas not recently served. Each group provides a primary source of support, information, activities, and camaraderie for its members and attendees. For many survivors, chapters serve an even more critical purpose – they’re a lifeline to recovery, a means to re-engage in the community, and a bridge to a higher purpose. The Baba Jones story (next page) is unique, yet emblematic of what the BIAMI and its chapters and support groups make possible.
SUPPORT FOR SURVIVORS AND THEIR FAMILIES
Survivors and their families enjoy a Detroit Tigers baseball game, one of many regular activities organized by the Brain Injury Association of Michigan.
6 | 2018 Impact Statement
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