It is not disgraceful nor is it shameful to have a brain injury. However, we recognize that sustaining a brain injury can be a stigmatizing event for a person. We applaud any efforts by people and organizations in society to help reduce and eliminate the stigma that is attached to brain injury. We feel that this stigma can best be eliminated by improving the societal and medical response to brain injury akin to what has been done in the last several decades to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness issues.
Raising public awareness about brain injury, in order that the condition is better understood, will reduce stigma. Educating the public about brain injury will reduce stigma. Properly assessing and treating survivors and validating their concerns will help reduce stigma. Empowering survivors to know that they do not have to hide, that they can “come out” about brain injury, will also reduce stigma.