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Christchurch leads the world with new book on Brain Injury

24 November 2010

Press Release

For Immediate Distribution

Christchurch leads the world with new book on Brain Injury

The brain injury handbook “Head Space” is a unique manual specifically designed to be used by people with brain injuries or strokes themselves. Considerable care has been taken regarding the graphics, font, content, level of detail and overall layout so that readers get the necessary comprehensive information in a manner that is understandable and not overwhelming. Early feedback from experts and people with brain injury has been incredibly positive and it appears that it is the only book of its kind anywhere in the world. The book will be launched at a special event at the Allan Bean Centre, Burwood Hospital, Christchurch Thursday 2 December 5.30 – 7.00 pm

The handbook has been the result of over four years’ research and development by New Zealand Spinal Trust staff, Dr Bernadette Cassidy and Claire Freeman. It has been developed in close collaboration with the Brain Injury Association (Canterbury/West Coast), Burwood Hospital’s Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service staff and a large group of people with a brain injury.

The book’s forward has been written by aviation and deer farming pioneer, Sir Tim Wallis, who has personal experience of life with a serious brain injury following his Spitfire accident in early 1996. “Head Space” is a useful guide to anyone seeking answers and provides comprehensive explanations and suggestions that will satisfy the majority of concerns. So rather than providing all the answers, it is intended to be a good pointer for people to take the next step in getting professional help for areas where they require more detail.

A number of focus groups were held with people who have sustained a brain injury and their families/whanau. The groups were integral to the development of the handbook in terms of the amount of text information, use of pictorial images, and the subtle use of colour.

90 people a day in New Zealand sustain a brain injury in some form and many are the result of concussion. That represents between 24,000 and 33,000 people every year. The most challenging aspect of a brain injury is that it is a hidden injury, depending on the severity, and the difficulties experienced by individuals and those around them are not necessarily obvious to the public in general.

“Head Space” will have a major impact on how people with brain injuries and their families source information both in New Zealand and overseas and it will be given free to all people admitted to Brain Injury Units throughout New Zealand. Copies are also available from regional Brain Injury Associations or direct from the Allan Bean Centre, Burwood Hospital, Christchurch.


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