March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. It’s a topic that’s very relevant to the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community and what we do at the Navy SEAL Foundation (NSF) to support it. So we wanted to provide a short summary of this issue and what NSF is doing to help address it. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) are both major medical concerns for NSW operators based upon hazards associated with training and mission execution. These wounds can be “invisible” in many ways and may lead to a myriad of cognitive impairment symptoms including headaches, brain fog, memory problems, mood disturbances, and anxiety. They may be staggered in their onset, fluctuate in severity, and triggered by life events months, or possibly years, after injury. When this neurotrauma is combined with additional risk factors for NSW community members, it can lead to decreased quality of life, depression, and suicidal ideation. You can read more about the neurological effects of bTBI HERE.

In order to combat the effects of TBI and bTBI sustained by members of NSW, NSF works with leading experts and treatment facilities committed to providing the most relevant and cutting-edge education and practices. These include the Marcus Institute for Brain Health, the Center for Brain Health, and the Home Base Program among others. These experts and programs consistently provide exceptional care with proven effectiveness. In addition, NSF hosts the Impact Forum aimed at improving the provision of mental health services to military personnel and veterans, while enhancing education and collaboration among providers and community members. Approximately 600 participants convene annually to hear from leaders in their respective fields on the most up-to-date information on diagnosing, treating, and tracking brain injuries in service members.

“There are some uncharted things that we were starting to discover in the mental health and emotional health discussion. We’re not a broken force. We’re a force that works hard and does what the nation asks of us. Because our families serve, it’s just really important to have that support from the Navy SEAL Foundation. Mental, emotional, and psychological assistance has been really important in keeping our SEALs and our service members in the fight. It’s getting them to return to duty. It’s extending their service life. It’s ensuring that their families are supported in their time of need.” – SEAL Leader

NSF is unwavering in our determination to help unravel the effects of TBI and bTBI; and lead the way in research, education, training, and prevention. If you are an NSF supporter we hope you find the above information useful. If you are a service member or veteran, and you or one of your teammates is having symptoms related to TBI or bTBI please CONTACT US. Even just to have a conversation. Our support is at the ready for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

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