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New project raises awareness of TBIs

A new Tasmanian research project aimed at increasing awareness of traumatic brain injury (TBI) has received almost $1 million in funding from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRRF).

The project, ‘Transforming Awareness, Literacy & Knowledge of Traumatic Brain Injury (TALK-TBI)’, is aiming to increase community awareness through education, visual arts and stories of those living with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

TBIs can occur from car accidents, falls, physical altercations and sporting accidents.

TBI is often referred to as a silent epidemic with more than 69 million people globally sustaining a TBI every year. This is likely to be an underestimate as often those who sustain a mild TBI (concussion) do not seek medical treatment and are therefore not included in reports.

“In a lot of cases, you don’t visually see a traumatic brain injury however this type of injury can have lifelong effects, including neurological diseases such as dementia,” Dr Jenna Ziebell, from the University of Tasmania’s Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, said.

In a bid to increase awareness of TBI – from injury to rehabilitation – Dr Ziebell is leading a national project to help those in the community living with a TBI.

“Australasia has one of the highest reported incidences of TBI, and our project wants to assess what the current awareness of a TBI is and address the lack of knowledge with a number of educational programs and tools.”

The project will tap into partnerships across Australia, including brain injury associations and Aboriginal community centres, to create the educational resources, which includes the free Understanding TBI MOOC aimed at increasing awareness of TBI in the community.

"In order to help provide greater support for individuals living with TBI, we need to hear from people who have been affected, and their family/carers, to understand what some of the potential barriers which might include community attitudes or poor access to rehabilitation,” Dr Ziebell said.

“If we can help educate the community about what a TBI is, and what it means to live with one, we can improve the health and wellbeing of people living with a TBI.”

For more information on the project email Dr Jenna Ziebell at