I recently sustained a brain injury

A brain injury can change lives in an instant. At Headway, we know the impact it can cause on individuals and families alike.

We also recognise that for many people affected by brain injury, the Headway website is their first point of contact with the charity, and the first opportunity they have to seek information and support. Just knowing that help is available, and you're not alone, can be of comfort.

If you have, or believe you have, recently sustained a brain injury, this section will signpost you to other areas of the website where you can find more detailed information and support.

Things to do

Helpline

Contact the Headway helpline on 0808 800 2244Our freephone helpline is another vital source of support and information that you may benefit from. Run by a team of nurses and non-clinical staff with experience and expertise in a variety of areas, the helpline is there for anyone who has a question about brain injury. regardless of the severity of your injury, or if you're a carer, family member or friend. It also exists to provide support to professionals working in the field of brain injury.

You can also contact the team if you would like to discuss any issues with people who understand and who will listen, while signposting you on to other services if appropriate.

For more information on the Headway helpline, click here or call 0808 800 2244 or email helpline@headway.org.uk.

Diagnosis

A flyer promoting Headway's GP resourceMany people report to Headway difficulties in receiving a diagnosis for their brain injury, particularly if they are suffering from persistent and lingering problems as a result of a minor head injury.

This issue can often be compounded if the effects of the person's brain injury are largely hidden. The cognitive, emotional and behavioural, and psychological effects of brain injury can be difficult to detect by those who are not neurological experts. This can leave people without a diagnosis - and without a reason for their on-going difficulties.

If you identify with any of the effects of brain injury detailed on this site, then you may benefit from obtaining a diagnosis from a GP and a referral for specialist support.

To assist GPs to diagnose, manage and refer patients affected by brain injury, Headway has created a free online resource, complete with information about symptoms and referral guides.

Booklets and factsheets

In addition, our award-winning range of booklets and factsheets contain a host of information and practical tips to help you understand and adapt to life after brain injury.

The factsheets are free to download while booklets can be purchased from our online shop or distributed free-of-charge if you contact the helpline.

Local support from Headway groups and branches

There are more than 125 Headway groups and branches across the UK, each providing vital support and rehabilitation services to people in their local communities affected by brain injury.

The services provided by the groups and branches can vary, so it's important to check out what support is available in your area.

Brain Injury Identity Card

The Headway Brain Injury Identity Card is designed to help police officers and staff more easily identify brain injury survivors and ensure that they receive an appropriate response and support.

The card can also provide brain injury survivors with added confidence in everyday social scenarios.

Each card is personalised, helping the card holder to explain the effects of their brain injury and request any support they may need.

Apply for a card today

Online communities

A brain injury can be isolating. It can affect one's ability to lead an active, social life, whether as a result of physical, cognitive or emotional issues, or by virtue of carers have a lack of time for themselves.

Many people also report to Headway that their friends or families simply don't understand what they're going through. They don't see what is hidden.

Headway operates a number of social media channels to connect with people who need our help or want to support our work.

HealthUnlocked logoThe Headway HealthUnlocked community provides a safe and welcoming environment for people directly affected by brain injury - whether living with an injury or caring for someone who does - to come together to provide mutual support. Here, you can talk about anything related to brain injury - from symptoms and rehabilitation to welfare benefits and local services - and get answers and support from people who have been through a similar situations.

The charity's Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages can also provide useful information to support you and introduce you to the charity's services.

Legal support

If you have recently sustained a brain injury, you may need to seek expert legal representation. It is vital that you appoint a solicitor with appropriate knowledge and understanding of acquired brain injury.

Our section on legal advice contains guidance on what questions to ask when considering appointing a solicitor, while you can also search for solicitors in your area approved by Headway.