Skip to main content

March 2023: Brain Injury Awareness Month

WHEREAS, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired brain injury (ABI) are leading causes of injury-related death and disability in the United States and in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, brain injuries may potentially affect cognitive function, motor function, sensation, and emotional function; and,

WHEREAS, on average, there were 176 fatalities per day in the United States from injuries that included traumatic brain injury in 2020; and,

WHEREAS, there were 1,826 traumatic brain injury-related fatalities in Michigan in 2020; and,

WHEREAS, there were 9,529 hospitalizations for traumatic brain injuries in 2020 in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, the total annual health care cost of non-fatal traumatic brain injuries in the United States was over $40.6 billion in 2016; and, 

WHEREAS, falls are the leading known cause of TBI (40%) in the United States, and cause more than half (55%) of all TBIs among children aged 0 to 14 years, and 81% of all TBIs among adults aged 65 and older; and, 

WHEREAS, other leading and preventable causes of traumatic brain injury include being struck by or against an object or person, motor vehicle crashes, suicide, substance misuse and assaults, including shaken baby syndrome or abusive head trauma; and,

WHEREAS, observable signs of traumatic brain injury may include (but are not limited to) appearing dazed or stunned, forgetting an instruction, moving clumsily, answering questions slowly, losing consciousness (even briefly), showing mood, behavior or personality changes, being unable to recall events prior to and/or after an injury event; and,

WHEREAS, traumatic brain injuries are a largely preventable community health problem; and,

WHEREAS, prevention strategies can greatly reduce the risk for traumatic brain injuries and death; these include removing hazards in and around the home, keeping sports safe with adherence to rules of play and use of protective gear including helmets, using extra caution in bad weather while walking and driving, driving unimpaired and without distraction and always using a seat belt, staying physically active, among many others; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will continue to collect data to monitor incidents of traumatic and acquired brain injury and related deaths and work with partners like the Brain Injury Association of Michigan to raise awareness to support people with brain injuries and their families, and share information about injury prevention strategies;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 2023 as Brain Injury Awareness Month in Michigan.