Coming soon (NEW): BESTies will have more superpowers online through the BEST website!
On May 22, 2020, we’ll be sharing a new website feature that supports the brain injury community in a super and fun new way.
Stay tuned! 💚😉
You might have some questions like this:
We’ve got answers!
Let’s start here.
BEST Executive Director, Gloria Kraegel, recently penned an executive director message. In her letter, she not only shares a warm welcome and her appreciation, she also provides links to some important resources on the BEST website. Check it out by clicking here.
For those who participate in brain injury support groups in Washington State, call your facilitator to find out what online activities your group might be hosting.
Our BEST social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube) are great ways to join the conversation, get the latest updates, and learn something new. Check out the top right corner of this website for links.
Not much of a social media user? Our BEST website blog is updated nearly every day with articles, stories, resources, and more. Click here to view. Our special page on the national health emergency can be viewed by clicking here.
Here’s a BEST online exclusive. Please feel free to join us online in Second Life! Second Life is a virtual platform that’s free and offers lots to do online. Click here to learn more.
Do you have a story to share with others? Have some tips and strategies to help others get through these challenging times? We’d love to hear from you! Email BEST’s Kim Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal face masks: While we can’t stop this virus in its tracks, there are things we can do to slow the spread and keep this pandemic from overwhelming our hospitals and healthcare workers; stay home, stay clean, and if you have to go out in public, wear a personal face mask. Not only will wearing a mask help to protect yourself and others, making them is a fun project. Click here to find out how you can make your own personal face mask.
While social media is a great way to stay connected and informed, it can also be stressful at times, especially during this crisis. Click here for an article on how to create a healthy personal social media experience.
Are you having challenges with anxiety? BEST’s Kim Thompson shares her story about her anxiety disorder and how she is trying to manage it during this challenging time. Click here to read.
Our BEST friend Dr. Jannine Krause has shared some terrific nutritional information with BEST. Click here to see a catalog of her articles on food, health and nutrition information.
Self-care is now more important than ever. We have lots of articles on self-care on our website blog. Here’s a catalog of writing that you can peruse by clicking here.
Take our quick and simple survey on what you’d like to see online. Click here to share your voice. Thank you!
Sending our love and a virtual hug to you, your family and friends.
Your BEST Team
The 2020 Washington State Brain Injury Conference will be held on April 15, 2020 from 3 pm to 7 pm and April 16, 2020 from 9 am to 4 pm at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington.
Here is the save the date flyer with information, schedules, costs and more:
A limited number of scholarships for the conference will be available for individuals with brain injury and unpaid caregivers of individuals with brain injury.
Click HERE to apply for a scholarship (Note: you must scroll to the bottom to see the application form link to download).
Scholarship applications are DUE NO LATER THAN MARCH 1, 2020. Please follow the instructions on the form. Here’s what the form looks like:
(Editor’s note: What’s the definition of community? Writer and stroke survivor, Isaac Peterson, has an excellent, must-read definition of our community in his latest article. KT)
So, what is the TBI community? I know what community means but the idea of the word doesn’t really sum up the group of people of which I am now a part. The online dictionaries I’ve looked at have quite a few definitions, some of which apply to the TBI community, and others not so much.
It can get quite involved, so I guess I’ll just lay out here my ideas about what the TBI community is about. But one thing is for sure: the TBI community has too many qualities to be summarized by a dictionary definition.
The TBI community isn’t a place or a geographic location. We are everywhere. We live in every country in the world, in every region where there are people. We are from all walks of life, from every religion, faith, race, ethnicity, economic status. We are men and women, boys and girls. We are husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and friends; you name it.
We have no centralized authority, like in a government or a corporation. We are pretty much leaderless; we have spokespeople and advocates, one of which I am proud and privileged to be. There is no head of the TBI community or organization issuing marching orders and there is no hierarchy. Everyone with a TBI is an equal part of the community. Each of us can be leaders in our own way, depending on our own individual desires and capabilities, and we are all leaders and spokespeople at different times. We have many groups and subgroups, which are unfunded or underfunded.
But we exist and persist, because the alternative is unacceptable. We can reach out and provide comfort and strength, and in return be comforted and strengthened. We are largely in loose, informal networks, that, with the aid of the internet, allows our community to be international in scope.
The community includes people without traumatic brain injuries, too: caregivers, family members, friends. Anyone who helps a TBI survivor cope is part of the community.
There are meetings, large and small, formal and informal. There are local support groups and large gatherings, like the recent two-day Washington State conference which I attended. And there are a surprising number of agencies and organizations reaching out and touching the lives of people living with traumatic brain injury.
There are no membership rolls or dues. No one chooses to be part of the TBI community; we were brought together by an accident of fate.
We are not seeking power. But we are seeking understanding, acceptance, autonomy and independence on our own individual terms. We help each other gain and maintain our dignity in a world that largely does not and cannot understand. There are no dogmas or manifestos; our only agenda is to live full, normal lives and fully realize our true potential.
We are joined together in a common cause and bound together by faith, united by hope for the future.
My personal experience in the community is that it’s very warm and welcoming. It’s been a group that encourages members to share their thoughts, hopes, fears, their challenges and triumphs, all without fear of being laughed at or marginalized. The sense of kinship and unconditional acceptance has been strong, and the feeling of strength and empowerment has been a lifesaver for me.
Here is a place where I feel confident baring my soul to like-minded people, all with a common purpose and shared hopes and dreams.
It has been a source of inspiration and support. The TBI community has helped me feel much less alone in the world and confident of my place in it.
I know I am not the only one who feels that way.
We are many and we are everywhere.
Isaac Peterson grew up on an Air Force base near Cheyenne, Wyoming. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, he embarked on a career as an award-winning investigative journalist and as a semi-professional musician in the Twin Cities, the place he called home on and off for 35 years. He also doesn’t mind it at all if someone offers to pick up his restaurant tab. Peterson also welcomes reader comments. Email him at email@example.com.
On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) will be participating in Giving Tuesday, the international day of giving back to organizations that make a difference.
Together, we will form a special superhero team and support fellow superheroes in the brain injury community in Washington State and provide them with the super-powered tools they need to live the BEST lives possible.
On Giving Tuesday, we’ll have the celebration and building activities conveniently online and in person at our community center, Our BEST Space and our super store, the Superhero Shoppe located inside the Space.
Can’t wait to get started? Grab your favorite tools noted in the infographics above and start today by clicking here. Interested in taking your superhero powers to the next level? Consider a BEST membership by clicking here.
In the meantime, we can’t wait to see you on Giving Tuesday, Tuesday November 27, 2018! All are welcome!
In the meantime, here’s a fun little slideshow for inspiration. Thank you, superheroes!