The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) has just witnessed the most beautiful art of sharing and caring.
Thank you for helping to support the empowerment artists of the brain injury community and their families.
With your generous help, you are providing the support for more learning materials and educational opportunities to tap into creative tools, resources and strategies for brain injury survivors to live the BEST lives possible after brain injury.
You put the “giving” in Giving Tuesday yesterday, the international day of giving back to causes that make a difference in the lives of others.
Click here to contribute on our fast and secure donation page.
Donations of any amount are welcomed and greatly appreciated.
As we reflect on 2019, the art of living our BEST lives possible in beautiful color and texture was evident.
Through our large support group network in Washington State; Our BEST Space activities, educational opportunities and events; widely attended educational symposiums; the Washington State TBI Conference; Brain Injury Awareness Month; camping; picnics; barbecues; the Tacoma Art Museum, TAM Local Community Art Installation: “Superhero” show featuring BEST artists; Second Life online support and activities; and BEST community outreach, the art of sharing our care and supporting each other was nothing short of magical.
Looking forward to the new brushstrokes of 2020. Thanks for making 2019 so special.
The University of Puget Sound (UPS) School of Occupational Therapy in Tacoma, Washington, has been an amazing addition to Our BEST Space this fall.
Students from the program have been working with BESTies one and one, as well as in groups. The students learn important skills in working with people with brain injury, and BESTies are able to get valuable information, resources, tips and strategies to support their daily lives.
This fall, the students have been working with BESTies at Our BEST Space in University Place, Washington. The students do an intake session with program volunteers, learn about their brain injuries and work with them on what issues challenge them the most. The students then design activities, programs, and tools to help.
Recently, the BEST Space was filled with the aroma of nutritious (and delicious!) foods prepared by the BEST volunteers, with the guidance of the UPS students.
Participants followed the recipes, step by step, with support as, and if, needed.
The result? Savory and appetizing dishes prepared by volunteers that got to be enjoyed together as a group.
It was a lively activity, enjoyed by all.
BEST would like to thank the UPS students and our BEST volunteers for their work, support, enthusiasm and energy on this project.
Mental health is critical to overall well-being.
More and more, the stigmas around mental health are being reduced, and more open, honest and important conversations are being had around the topic.
On the evening of Tuesday, November 5, 2019, in Spokane, Washington at the downtown Spokane Public Library, the community came together to talk, listen and learn about traumatic brain injury (TBI) and mental health. Panel experts, resources, strategies and tools were provided on this informative and engaging event.
There were over 100 people were in attendance, while many more served as panelists, exhibitors, BEST team members, and volunteers.
For event organizer, BEST’s Nick Mehrnoosh, he was personally touched by the connections and support during the event.
“One of the many wonderful things about the symposium, is witnessing the engagement from the community,” says Mehrnoosh. “Sitting back and watching the event unfold, it was heartwarming to see people connecting with one another on various issues. Whether it was with regards to brain injury or mental health, the attendees were connecting with one another on a meaningful level.
While the panel discussion is the focus of these smaller symposiums, this time, the panel itself was specifically impactful for the audience. It was evident that members of the audience were on the edge of their seats, just waiting for a chance to gain some insight into the complexities that surround brain injury and mental health. Moreover, their questions towards the end of the panel discussion were more than just technical, they were deeply personal.”
Mehrnoosh also was struck by the notes of support and encouragement the brain injury community received.
“One individual, a brain injury survivor, told their story of struggling to balance their brain injury with the rigors of completing their Master’s in Social Work. The panelists did more than just answer the question, they took the time to provide encouragement, both during the panel and afterwards.”
Mehrnoosh, along with the rest of the BEST Team and volunteers, are deeply passionate about these symposiums.
“The whole reason we create and facilitate these symposiums is foster deeper connections within our community,” shares Mehrnoosh. “We passionately believe that lives can be changed through education, and we look forward to witnessing the symposium grow, with each passing event.”
We would like to thank the event panelists: Jonathan Anderson PhD from EWU College of Social Sciences, Frank Jackson DO from St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute, Brian Shute PhD from Inland Speech Pathology & Therapeutics, and Amanda Salisbury MSW from Trauma Informed Therapies. You all provided outstanding insight into the intersection of brain injury and mental health. Thank you!
We also want to thank the resource exhibitors at last Tuesday’s event. The information about your organizations and your role as medical providers, caregivers, community support systems, and much more is beyond appreciated! Thank you, Brain Injury Alliance of Washington, Spokane Chapter, Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute, Kingfisher TMS, and Governor’s TBI Council of Washington.
Stay tuned for information about upcoming information about 2020 symposiums.
Sharing. Caring. Community.
All three of those elements were in full effect at Valleyfest, the iconic community festival, 30 years strong, in Spokane Valley.
The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) was thrilled and honored to participate in the recent festival held over the last weekend to share brain injury awareness and resources with the community.
The festival made quite an impact on the BEST team.
“As I walked around Valleyfest, there was a strong sense of community,” says Nick Mehrnoosh, BEST Board President . “The various vendors were engaged in casual conversation among themselves and other members of the community, sharing their goods and laughing with one another. This sense of community is the reason why myself and the others decided to participate in this annual event. Spreading awareness and education of brain injury must begin at the community-level, with the people that need it the most.”
Mehrnoosh continues, “Valleyfest reinforced the idea for all of us that we want to put the community first, above all else. Supporting people living with a brain injury and their loved ones in the pursuit of the notion that we want to leave the community better than we found it.”
At the BEST table, superheroes were the 2019 festival theme.
“I was beyond proud to watch the BEST staff and volunteers engage with the community, talking about impact of brain injury and making those vital personal connections,” shares Mehrnoosh.
“Our volunteers also ran a children’s activity, where they helped children create superhero masks and imparted the message that they can be their own superhero.”
BEST would like to thank the organizers of Valleyfest and the Spokane Valley community for a terrific and memorable experience.
Join us for as we host a speakers’ panel of experts to discuss the dynamic interactions between brain injury and mental health. Topics may include, but not limited to, community re-integration following an injury, the relationship between anxiety and depression on cognitive functioning, and structuring life to optimize success following a brain injury. The panel will also touch on the risks of suicidal ideation, addiction, homelessness and the importance of self-perception in finding your path after a brain injury.
The overlap between brain injury and adverse mental health can be extensive. While a brain injury can be an entirely separate issue, it may also exacerbate pre-existing mental health issues or instigate the development of new mental health conditions. Thus, a deeper understanding of these interactions might be useful to improving quality of life following a brain injury.
The event will begin at 5:00 PM, with the panel lecture starting promptly at 6:00 PM. Refreshments and opportunities to connect with various local resources, services, and other members of the community will be available.
The event is FREE and Open to the Public.
The Northwest Brain Injury Symposium lecture series is supported by the Spokane Public Library, Brain Energy Support Team, Governor’s TBI Council of Washington, and Eastern Washington University – CSS.
Finding Your Path: Brain Injury and Mental Health
Location: Spokane Public Library – Downtown
Date: November 5th, 2019
Time: 5:00 PM till 8:00 PM, Panel Lecture @ 5:45 PM
Resource Fair: Begins at 5:00 PM
RVSP at nwbis.eventbrite.com
Questions? Email email@example.com
News is all around us, all of the time.
Whether it’s on television, all over social media and social networking sites, online, on the radio or in a newspaper, news is constantly being shared at an increasingly rapid pace.
Especially if the news has not necessarily been positive.
Recently, and quite sadly, there has been an abundance of bad news in those twenty four by seven news cycles.
Should we also have personal bad news, that only adds to the difficulty.
That is a LOT to manage.
Managing bad news can lead to anxiety, depression, mental and physical fatigue and a less than optimistic outlook.
For our community, we are already coping with brain injury; extra things to cope with definitely take a toll on our overall health.
So what can we do about it?
Here’s a quick resource guide on just a few ways to feel better and find balance. Click on the green highlighted text to learn more.
- Here’s a good article on self-care for managing and learning about bad and/or negative news.
- Following is a good piece of writing on how to cope and manage receiving personal bad news.
- Need some quick tools to manage anxiety? Click here to learn more.
- Social media use can be stressful and make us even more anxious, especially during bad news cycles. BEST created a handy guide with tips and strategies to help manage your social media to make it work for your life. Click here to check it out.
What are some some coping strategies that you like to use? We’d love to hear about them.
Share your thoughts with Kim Thompson, BEST Communications Manager by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kim is gathering your thoughts to continue this article series.
On July 9, 2019, the Northwest Brain Injury Symposium and BEST presented, An Athlete’s Journey: Sports and Traumatic Brain Injury.
This event was part of our lecture series for 2018-2019 and was designed to provide foundational information about the prevention, diagnosis, and management of sports related-concussions. A panel of providers discussed the components of concussion, reintegration post-injury, and the relative impact on athletes and their families.
Attached is the video presentation of those who may have not been able to take part. Thank you for viewing!
A brain injury support group serves as an important resource and lifeline for many people.
Why are support groups important? Here are three ways:
- Support groups are a safe and comfortable place to share your story, your journey forward, ask questions and voice concerns, all with others who understand and just get it.
- Support groups help provide valuable information, education, tips and strategies for living our best lives possible.
- Support groups are a good place to meet new people and create friendships who have shared experiences.
In Washington State, we have a robust support group community throughout our state; our support groups are at the ready to share their care, give a hand up to each other, and create a solid community of engagement, involvement and conversations.
Today, we shine the spotlight on the Spokane area, the second largest city in Washington State and the busy hub of Eastern Washington.
Here are just a couple of the support group options in this area. Check it out below.
Brain Injury Brunch Club
Second Saturday of the month, 11:00 AM till 12:15 PM
Frankie Doodles Restaurant – Conference Room
30 E 3rd Ave, Spokane, WA 99202
Contact: Nicholas Mehrnoosh Email: email@example.com
Support Group Facilitator: Nicholas Mehrnoosh
Description: The Brain Injury Brunch Club is a peer support group based in Spokane, Washington. The purpose of the group is to foster peer relationships and improve social skills for individuals living with a brain injury. The group engages in discussions and table topic activities. Any food or beverages ordered during the group session is paid for by the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST). The group is administered by a Certified Support Group Facilitator that encourages a safe and inclusive environment.
Brain Injury Community Support Group
Fourth Monday of the month, 6:30 PM till 8:00 PM
MultiCare Valley Hospital – Education Center, Davis Room
12606 E Mission Ave, Spokane, WA 99216
Contact: Marysa Rogozynski Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Group Facilitator: Marysa Rogozynski
Description: The Brain Injury Community Support Group provides tools and resources necessary for personal growth after a brain injury. The group utilizes the Identity & Moving-On after TBI curriculum, developed by Dr. Wayne Gordon at Mount Sinai Hospital and administered by the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST). Group members work to create a map of their goals and desires that are built upon their strengths and interests, in order to begin developing a Personal Futures Plan. The group is administered by a Certified Support Group Facilitator and meets on a monthly basis. Individuals of all ages are welcomed to attend.
Looking for additional support group options? Seeking a support group in other areas of Washington State? Click here to find a support group near you.