Hello - my sister is suffering from isolation even with a local TBI group. Any ideas for ways she can meet other suvivors? She is in the North Dallas, TX suburbs
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Hi! The BIAA of Texas puts out a directory that includes regional support groups. You can find that if you scroll down a bit here: https://www.biausa.org/find-bia/texas. DFW starts on page 10.
I found this option on Meetup https://www.meetup.com/Chronic-Invisible-Illness-Warriors/. It's not Brain Injury specific, but may be a way for your sister to make friends who would understand her challenges. More broadly, Meetup is a great place to find groups that she can engage with that cater to her interests. I've used it in the past to find friends in new places.
There's also paralympic and special olympic chapters in Dallas that she can volunteer with. There may also be opportunities to volunteer at brain injury clinics in the area.
Answer transcribed from the Brightway Answers interview with clinical specialist Marlene Rivera:
RediscoverU, through the Council on Brain Injury, is one of those programs that initially started meeting in person and then as COVID-19 hit we started meeting virtually. Everyone's welcome to join us - we meet every Monday night from 6 to 7:30pm.
I also know the Brain Injury Association of America has a list of support groups and many of those have gone virtual as well.
There are also many groups on social media - there are facebook groups. The Council on Brain Injury, for example, has the Strive and Thrive group - it's a group where individuals are able to connect outside of the support group setting.
I also recommend identifying other recreation and leisure interest groups, service project opportunities, even those that might not be tailored specifically to brain injury. I know your goal is to meet other survivors but you never know where you're going to meet another brain injury survivor. I think the goal is to be able to relate to someone who has similar interests to yours.
I know churches have groups and other community organizations have activity-based interest groups, libraries have groups like book clubs that can definitely empower brain injury survivors.
All of these groups empower survivors to raise awareness about their injury - it provides an opportunity to talk about their experience as a brain injury survivor and share it with people who may not be as educated in what they are dealing with every day. So those are resources I highly recommend.
There are also apps you can try. Interestingly enough, a couple people have introduced me to the NextDoor app, which allows you to connect with your local community. So that's a resource you can use to get out from isolation.
You’d also be surprised - some of the dating apps like Bumble are not just for dating - they actually have additional platforms like Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz to connect individuals to make friends and make social network connections. Many of these resources are are built to empower individuals to have as many options as they can to connect outside of their immediate circle.