Research carried out by The Disabilities Trust Foundation has found brain injury could affect almost half (48%) of homeless people and may contribute to the risk of people becoming homeless in the first place.
These injuries, unless properly diagnosed and treated, can bring communication, memory and behaviour problems leading to increased risk of family breakdown and loss of employment. View the BBC news coverage of the Leeds brain injury and homelessness research.
Brain injury awareness training for frontline professionals including hostel staff, social workers and housing providers was also being delivered as part of the project. This training is still available if you are interested in finding out more.
Earlier studies also suggest that brain injury often occurs before homelessness and this raises the possibility that better services for people with brain injury could prevent some people from becoming homeless in the first place.
Jenny Newport, Head of Foundation, said: "Through the Glasgow study and previous research we know that traumatic brain injury is more common among people who are homeless and if local authorities and the NHS can improve the support offered to these men and women we may be able to tackle the appallingly high mortaility rate. Appropriate brain injury rehabilitation may even prevent someone becoming homeless in the first place."
The internationally peer-reviewed research, which was carried out by the University of Glasgow and The Disabilities Trust Foundation, was published in the Journal of Neurotrauma. and is available to those with access to this journal. Read more in the Glasgow homelessness research briefing paper.
Following these research studies a Foundation brain injury Community Linkworker has provided support in Leeds to homeless people with a brain injury. The Community Linkworker was able to identify people with a brain injury by screening them using the Foundation’s Brain Injury Screening Index (BISI ®). This project is now completed.
If you are keen to be involved in future research projects, as a volunteer research assistant or partner organisation, then please contact The Foundation.
*The prevalence of traumatic brain injury in the homeless community in a UK city 2012, Vol. 26, No. 9 , Pages 1058-1064, Michael Oddy, Jane Frances Moir, Deborah Fortescue, Sarah Chadwick
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