A Change of Mind – A Documentary on the Societal Impact of Brain Injury
The Cridge Centre for the Family hosted the World Premiere of filmmaker, Hilary Pryor’s documentary, A Change of Mind. This documentary, featuring several survivors served by the Cridge including Derrick Forsyth who narrated the film, depicted the devastating impact of brain injury on the individuals, families, and society as a whole.
A Change of Mind provides education and awareness in such a way that viewers could not only see, but feel the challenges faced by a survivor of brain injury. The film brought to the forefront horrific statistics on homelessness, prisons, substance abuse, and suicide. However, the film also painted a picture of limitless possibilities for survivors to redesign their lives so they once again feel whole and contributing in society.
Derrick’s story of a car crash, as well as the story of Nash, who suffered a brain injury as a result of a near drowning, demonstrated how survivors can turn their life around when supports are put into place without time limits or restrictions. Both of these men have come through the darkest side of loss, substance abuse, violence, and prison to a new life of healthy relationships, employment, and contributing to society in meaningful ways. They are proof that we should never give up on anyone and that anything is possible with love and support.
What sparked Hilary to take on this topic? I am honoured to say that I played a small part in her decision. I had been invited to present to the Cridge Board of Directors on the services being provided to those living with the outcome of a brain injury. When I offered the statistics on those living on the streets and those in the prisons, it ignited an interest and desire in Hilary to explore the topic and bring awareness to the public on prevalent brain injury is.
Here are some of the important stats presented to the board and that appear in Hilary’s documentary:
• Nearly 50 % of the homeless have suffered a brain injury
• Over 70% off those 50% became homeless AFTER their brain injury
• 80% of those incarcerated have suffered a brain injury
• Nearly 60% of the 80% suffered their first brain injury as a child
• Suicide risk increases by 400% after brain injury
• 90% of marriages/intimate relationships end after brain injury
• After sustaining a brain injury the risk of suffering a second brain injury is 4 times likely
Hilary graciously asked if she could use part of the title of my book, A Change of Mind: One Family’s Journey through Brain Injury. I was also deeply honoured to be interviewed for this important film.