DoD A Head for the Future initiative increases brain injury awareness, prevention and recovery

Mar 23, 2015, 12:36 ET from Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- An initiative from the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) is raising awareness about traumatic brain injury (TBI) diagnosed in nondeployed settings.

A Head for the Future relaunched today with a new website and resources. Since 2000, more than 320,000 service members have been diagnosed with TBI. According to Defense Department data, the vast majority of TBIs were diagnosed in noncombat settings. Concussions — a mild form of brain injury — are the most common form of TBI in the military. Common causes of TBIs include motor vehicle collisions, falls and sports-related incidents.

"Raising awareness about the signs and symptoms of brain injury, educating service members about ways to be safe during daily activities and encouraging them to seek help will preserve the health of our military force," Army Col. Sidney Hinds II, M.D., DVBIC's national director.

A Head for the Future is a multi-year initiative to promote awareness, prevention of and recovery from traumatic brain injury, including concussion. Today's relaunch of the website at dvbic.dcoe.mil/aheadforthefuture expands the variety of resources available to service members, veterans and their families — as well as line leaders, health care providers and caregivers — about TBI diagnosis, treatment and recovery. A Head for the Future offers printable and downloadable materials, such as fact sheets, advertisements, posters and toolkits.

Social media campaigns will be conducted through the DVBIC Facebook page. The initiative will also collaborate with key partners and create compelling videos of individuals on their path to recovery, showing that treatment is both possible and effective. 

"Our military men and women are on the go and active, and they may not be aware of the concussion or brain injury risk, or they may not know what to do if they sustain a head injury," Hinds said. "If left untreated, brain injury can impact relationships, work and the day-to-day life of a service member, veteran or family member."

Though DVBIC's downloadable resources are tailored for the Defense Department, they are publicly available for anyone needing information about TBI. 

"The first step in recovery from a TBI is recognizing the signs and symptoms and telling your military, civilian or Department of Veterans Affairs health care provider," said Kathy Helmick, deputy director of DVBIC. "A Head for the Future will help our service members, veterans and families seek help so that their recovery is not prolonged or does not lead to chronic problems that they can avoid."

Visit dvbic.dcoe.mil/aheadforthefuture to learn more about the initiative and access information about brain injury prevention and recovery.

About DVBIC
Congress established Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) in 1992 after the first Gulf War in response to the need to treat service members with TBI.  DVBIC's staff serves as the Defense Department's primary TBI subject matter experts.  DVBIC is part of the U.S. Military Health System and is the TBI operational component of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). Learn more about DVBIC at dvbic.dcoe.mil.

About DCoE
The mission of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) is to improve the lives of our nation's service members, veterans and their families by advancing excellence in psychological health and traumatic brain injury prevention and care. DCoE is comprised of three centers: Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) and National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2). Learn more about DCoE at dcoe.mil.

SOURCE Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center



RELATED LINKS

http://dvbic.dcoe.mil/aheadforthefuture