Brain injury is often called the “silent epidemic” due to the large number of people it impacts with little public awareness as to its devastating effects. In the Metro Richmond area, over 36,000 people are currently living with a disability resulting from a brain injury. While brain injuries range from mild injuries, often referred to as concussions, where most individuals recover in a matter of weeks or months, moderate to severe brain injury often can leave people with a lifelong disability.
A decade ago resources to assist persons with brain injury were almost non-existent in Virginia. Fortunately, over the past 10 years the Commonwealth of Virginia has set up a network of core “safety net” services for survivors to access needed community based resources. In the Metro Richmond area, Community Futures Foundation, a non-profit 501 c3 organization, provides 2 of these core services, clubhouse and case management services for survivors of brain injury.
The Mill House, is a vocational rehabilitation program for adult survivors of brain injury. Clubhouse participants called “members” work side by side with staff to run the program. Through the process of the work ordered day, members gain work skills and behaviors and also develop skills to live more independently. By working together with peers, members also gain the sense of community and purpose through their participation in a clubhouse. Since opening in 1999, The Mill House has served well over 300 survivors in the Metro Richmond area.
The case management program assists clients and their families in identifying needs and developing a plan to meet those needs. As part of this process, a case manager educates their clients about community resources, coordinates services and finally, monitors the services and goals that have been put in place. All services at CFF are highly client centered and client driven, teach clients to become effective self-advocates, and empower survivors to more fully recover from their injuries.
For more information on this organization, please visit the website at www.communityfuturesva.org or call (804) 261-7050.