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Support and Information

You are not alone

The Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island is a statewide organization dedicated to providing support, education, advocacy, research and prevention. Whether you are a person with a brain injury, a family member or friend of someone affected by brain injury, a professional working in this field, or an interested member of the general public, the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island hopes to be of service to you.

Need Help Right Now?
Call us at 401-228-3319

Support Groups

Our Support Groups allow persons with brain injury and family members to meet with others in similar situations, gain invaluable emotional support and friendships, obtain information and resources, and perhaps even hear speakers discuss a variety of brain injury topics. The Association has several statewide support groups that conduct regular meetings listed below:

Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island, Inc. Support Groups

1st Monday of the Month
East Providence:  FOR CAREGIVERS

Time:  7:00 – 8:30 pm
Place:  Brain Injury Resource Center  1017 Waterman Ave. East Providence
Facilitator:  Lisa Onorato
Contact number:  228-3319   

2nd Tuesday of the Month
Newport:  Families and Survivors

Time:  6:30 – 7:45 pm
Place: Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center
Newport Hospital
16 Powel Ave. Newport, RI
Facilitator:  Liesl Houston
Contact Number:  401-228-3319

3rd Wednesday of the Month
East Providence:  Families and Survivors   

Time:  6:00 -7:30 pm
Place:  Brain Injury Resource Center 1017 Waterman Ave. East Providence
Facilitator:  Lisa Onorato
Contact number:   228-3319

Sign Language interpreter services are available for the East Providence meeting:
requests for Interpreter services must be submitted 48 hours in advance of the scheduled meeting.

4th Tuesday of the Month
Northern Rhode Island:  Families and Survivors

Time:  2:30 - 4:00 pm
Place:  Pulmonary Rehab Room, Rehab Hospital of RI,
116 Eddie Dowling Highway North Smithfield, RI 02896
Facilitators: Linda Silva, P.T.A., Jane Soucy
Contact number:  766-0800 x 5311

New Support Group!

4th Thursday of the Month (NOTE: the first meeting will be June 25th)
North Kingstown: Families and Survivors

Time:  6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Place:  Lafayette Mill
650 Ten Rod Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852
Facilitator:  Lisa Onorato
Contact Number:   228-3319

Disclaimer: Brain Injury Association of RI, Inc. does not support, endorse or recommend any method, treatment or program for brain-injured persons. We endeavor to inform, and believe that you have the right to know what help is available.

General Information

Facts about Traumatic Brain Injury
(also available in PDF format - 500k)

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of such an injury may range from "mild," i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to "severe," i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. A TBI can result in short or long-term problems with independent function.

How many people have TBI?

Of the 1.4 million who sustain a TBI each year in the United States:

50,000 die;
35,000 are hospitalized; and
1.1 million are treated and released from an emergency department.1
The number of people with TBI who are not seen in an emergency department or who receive no care is unknown.

What causes TBI?

The leading causes of TBI are:

Falls (28%);
Motor vehicle-traffic crashes (20%); and
Assaults (11%).1
Blasts are a leading cause of TBI for active duty military personnel in war zones.2
Who is at highest risk for TBI?

Males are about 1.5 times as likely as females to sustain a TBI.1
The two age groups at highest risk for TBI are 0 to 4 year olds and 15 to 19 year olds.1
Certain military duties (e.g., paratrooper) increase the risk of sustaining a TBI.3
African Americans have the highest death rate from TBI.1
What are the costs of TBI?

Direct medical costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity of TBI totaled an estimated $56.3 billion in the United States in 1995.4

What are the long-term consequences of TBI?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 3.17 million Americans currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of a TBI.5 According to one study, about 40% of those hospitalized with a TBI had at least one unmet need for services one year after their injury. The most frequent unmet needs were:

Improving memory and problem solving;
Managing stress and emotional upsets;
Controlling one's temper; and
Improving one's job skills.6
TBI can cause a wide range of functional changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, and/or emotions. It can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age.7

Other Resources

Brain Injury Association of America  

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center  

Health Resources and Services Administration  

National Association of State Head Injury Administrators  

National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, NICHD, NIH  

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research  

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH  

North American Brain Injury Society  

Social Security Administration  

References for the above information

1. Langlois JA, Rutland-Brown W, Thomas KE. Traumatic brain injury in the United States: emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2004.

2. Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC). [unpublished]. Washington (DC): U.S. Department of Defense; 2005.

3. Ivins BJ, Schwab K, Warden D, Harvey S, Hoilien M, Powell J, et al. Traumatic brain injury in U.S. army paratroopers: prevalence and character. Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection and Critical Care 2003;55(4): 617-21.

4. Thurman D. The epidemiology and economics of head trauma. In: Miller L, Hayes R, editors. Head trauma: basic, preclinical, and clinical directions. New York (NY): Wiley and Sons; 2001.

5. Thurman D, Alverson C, Dunn K, Guerrero J, Sniezek J. Traumatic brain injury in the United States: a public health perspective. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 1999;14(6):602-15.

6. Corrigan JD, Whiteneck G, Mellick D. Perceived needs following traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 2004;19(3):205-16.

7. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Traumatic brain injury: hope through research. Bethesda (MD): National Institutes of Health; 2002 Feb. NIH Publication No. 02-158. Available from:

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