Not only veterans suffer from head trauma. In fact, did you know that 2.4 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year? And that in Massachusetts there were 68,285 cases that involved a traumatic brain injury in 2010 alone?
That’s why the Massachusetts’ Rehab Commission set up the Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP), to work with Massachusetts residents who have sustained a brain injury from head trauma.
The SHIP program offers community based services for individuals who have behavioral, cognitive, or physical disabilities, as well as specialized supports for those who have have suffered an external force, such as in a car accident, or serious fall, that causes an internal brain injury.
SHIP offers a variety of services in order to help residents maintain their independence, including:
- Assistive technology, such as medication dispensers, electronic day timers, and ramps
- Case management with community support workers
- Family assistance programs
- Substance abuse treatment
- Technical assistance programs
- Recreational and social programs, such as trips to amusement parks, bowling, comedy clubs, museum trips, and holiday parties
SHIP has four Regional Service Centers, located in Western Massachusetts, Greater Boston, Southeastern Massachusetts, and Cape Cod. Through the centers individuals with brain injuries receive case management to develop cognitive strategies, coordination skills, computer skills, financial and household management, and health and wellness. They also serve as a place for socialization and leisure, and serve as an advocate to help residents obtain family supports.
Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are also eligible for SHIP, but have a different range of services available.
To get help from the SHIP program, residents can apply and have the medical records reviewed by the Massachusetts Rehab Commission.
To learn more about the application process and SHIP:
Call to (617) 204-3852, or 1-800-223-2559.
Email to SHIPU@MRC.state.ma.us
For more information on TBI in Massachusetts, visit: http://www.biama.org/pdfs/tbi-summary-2010.pdf
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