In the past month, the recently established Acquired Brain Injury Advisory Council has held three hearings around the state of Maine to "assess whether [people living with brain injury] are getting the help they need," according to a story by Maine Public Broadcasting Network.
An estimated 7,000 Mainers live with the long-term effects of brain injury. While most people who experience some form of brain injury recover, others -- either because their injury was severe or for unknown reasons from seemingly less severe injuries -- experience difficulties with memory, organization, concentration, or issues like walking and talking.
A major theme that emerged at the hearings was the need for better infrastructure (there are just nine rehab clinics in the state and long waiting lists) as well as more education and awareness. Medical professionals need to learn to better recognize and treat long-term effects of concussion and other brain injury and the general public also needs to know more.
Troy Morgan, of Farmington, has had three separate instances of brain injury in his life and says, "We're normal people, but we do have different ways of learning." He says lack of transportation and understanding by employers has made finding work difficult.
Click here to read or listen to MPBN's story on the brain injury hearings.