Brain Injury & Homelessness:
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is the number one killer and disabler for Canadians under 40. Common ABI symptoms – memory loss, chronic pain and fatigue, mental health issues, loss of inhibition, communication issues, decreased problem-solving skills and impulsivity – increase a person’s risk of becoming homeless.
- 45% of homeless men have experienced a brain injury, and 87% of those injuries occurred before the individual became homeless (St Michael’s Hospital).
- A Toronto Study found that 58% of homeless men and 42% of homeless women in Toronto have a brain injury, and the average age of first brain injury was 17 years old.
- This population is at risk for experiencing seizures, mental health problems and poorer physical health.
Living with brain injury and being homeless harms a person’s wellbeing, and as such this population is:
- 5 times more likely to have visited an emergency room in the past year
- Twice as likely to have been arrested in the previous year
- Three times as likely to have been victim of a physical assault in the past year
Brain Injury & Mental Health:
53% of homeless adults with a history of mental illness have a reported history of brain injury (St Michael’s Hospital).
This population is more likely to:
- Report unmet health care needs
- Have contact with the criminal justice system
- Be suicidal or have previously attempted suicide
- Use emergency departments
- Finding housing for people with mental illness and head injuries is essential to helping these people more forward with their recovery.
Brain Injury & Domestic Violence
- 92% of women living in domestic violence shelters reported their partners hit them in the head more than once (Sojourner Centre).
- There are over 20 million women in the U.S. who have an undiagnosed TBI
- Brain injury is common in domestic violence victims, but many of these people refuse speak out or ask for help, preventing them from receiving the treatment they need.
- The ABI Toolkit is a project by the ABI Research Lab understanding the Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence and Traumatic Brain Injury