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Concussions and Mental Health: Invisible Injuries, Hidden Tolls

Description: A free panel discussion exploring the connection between concussions and mental health.

When: July 13, 2017 12:45pm - July 13, 2017 2:00pm

Where: 60 Lowther Ave., Toronto

Venue: Friends House, Meeting Room

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2017-07-13 12:45pm 2017-07-13 2:00pm America/Toronto Concussions and Mental Health: Invisible Injuries, Hidden Tolls A free panel discussion exploring the connection between concussions and mental health. 60 Lowther Ave., Toronto Healthy Minds Canada [email protected]

On July 13th 2017 Healthy Minds Canada and a great team of panelists (both professionals and those with lived experience) explored the impact of concussions on mental health.

Though concussions are increasingly talked about in media and medicine alike, discussions tend to be limited to the physical (headaches, dizziness, etc).  We know both from research and from personal experiences that concussions can have a serious impact on an individual’s mental health, leading to increased occurrences of depression, anxiety, PTSD, or even suicide.  Sometimes, even from just one concussion.

Through further research, education, and discussion surrounding mental health and concussions we can improve systems of prevention, treatment and support, and further cultivate empathy, validation and de-stigmatization.

Concussions can happen to anyone.  Together as a community, we can create stronger systems of support!


Quick facts:

-concussions, or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), affect many Canadians every year

-the majority of concussions resolve quickly, however the remaining 10-20% result in symptoms that last for months or years (persistent post-concussion syndrome PPCS)

-following concussion many experience neuropsychological symptoms such as irritability, personality change, anxiety, depression and emotional lability

-an estimated 18% of mTBI patients develop a psychiatric illness by 1 year post-injury, while 17% develop a Major Depressive Episode (MDE) within 3 months

-a 2016 study found that adults with concussions had 3 times the suicide risk of the normal population, with an average time between mild concussion and suicide being 5.7 years


Post Event Results:

Following this event Healthy Minds Canada contacted attendees to gauge the success and impact of this account, and improve further events. We received fantastic feedback:

100% of survey respondents said they found the panelists and moderators to be engaging or extremely engaging
100% said they would recommend future events to family, friends, or colleagues
94% found the information and knowledge gained at the panel was useful to them
-this topic brought in new attendees! 73% of respondents were attending an HMC Lunch & Lunch for the first time

-our audience included:
-people who have or have had concussions
-people who are or have been caregivers to loved ones with concussions
-professionals who work with concussion patients
-students looking to learn more (social work students, etc.)



Dr. Lesley Ruttan, Ph.D., C.Psych., Toronto Rehabilitation Institute/University Health Network

Panelists include:

Dr. Carmela Tartaglia, MD, FRCPC, Krembil Research Institute – University Health Network

Colleen Worsley, HBA Psychology, Brain Injury Society of Toronto

David Bourque, person in recovery

Sophia Stuart-Sheppard, person in recovery, Support Group Director – Concussion Mtl (Concussion Legacy Foundation)


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