We're committed to reducing preventable brain injury.
Brain injury is largely a condition of the young, who most often sustain their injuries during sports and recreational activities.
- It is the greatest killer and cause of disability under the age of 35.
- The highest incidence of traumatic brain injury occurs in young men aged 16-24.
BrainTrust Canada is dedicated to being a leader in brain injury prevention. We focus on teaching strategies to youth that create positive changes in behaviour and can help safeguard their future.
Prevention Programs and Services
SKULLWISE School Program
A key outcome of our Gen-Z Prevention Project has been the development of a toolkit for middle schools that addresses the subject of Youth and Concussion.
This toolkit for teachers includes a practical inquiry-based lesson sequence that is fully integrated with the BC Physical and Health Education Curriculum and is applicable for all students in grades 7 through 9. It also includes relevant concussion-based information to increase the background knowledge of the teacher leading the lessons.
This program is currently being implemented in Central Okanagan School District No. 23 and select private and charter schools.
SKULLWISE is sponsored by
We participate in the Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth program held at Kelowna General Hospital where Kelowna high school students learn about the serious consequences of drinking and driving and distracted driving. After we provide a meaningful presentation on brain injury and the importance of prevention, one of our clients shares a personal story of brain injury and the resulting life changes that have taken place.
This impactful program includes presentations from ER doctors, police and fire departments, as well as visiting a mock car crash, trauma room, and the morgue.
Watch Graham Kunz, a BrainTrust Canada client who sustained his brain injury at age 15, as he shares his story with high school students participating in the P.A.R.T.Y. Program held at Kelowna General Hospital.
Reaction of Students Who Attended the P.A.R.T.Y. Program
The thing that stood out to me the most was the brain injury survivor. Mainly because of he was telling us about how normal and good his life was and something that happened so quickly completely changed his life forever and he will never have the same life again.
The message that really stood out to me was the survivor story where a guy talked about his brain injury due to a car crash. The guy wasn't even driving, his friend was, and yet nothing happened to him (the friend). The story was very real. As in that we could actually hear from a firsthand survivor, what it felt like, what happened and so on. Having someone that actually experienced a car crash and talked about the aftermath, really stood out to me much more than a teacher talking about car safety for hours. It taught more than one lesson, it showed us how much we can be thankful for and to never take something for granted. Not only that but it amazed me how the guy had a positive outlook despite his circumstances.
Helmet Safety Program
Wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle can reduce the risk of brain injury by 88%.
We partner with the Cities of Kelowna and Vernon and RCMP Community Policing to promote helmet compliance and positive safety behaviours such as wearing a helmet properly and walking a bike across the road. Rewards earned by youth for positive safety behaviours include coupons from local businesses such as McDonald's, Dominos, and A&W.
We also provide helmets to youth 19 and under who cannot afford one. This program is generously funded by the Associated Canadian Travelers/United Commercial Travelers.
We're proud to say that BrainTrust Canada is one of a small number of organizations invited to make presentations in Okanagan schools. Our objective is to reach students at a young age, so that we have the best chance of instilling lifelong habits that will prevent brain injury.
- basic information on brain function
- the brain as the 'control centre' of the body
- the importance of 'safe' vs. 'foolish' risks
- actions youth can take to prevent brain injury
Included is an interactive game with helmets as prizes.
We also participate in annual school Bike Rodeos with Kelowna elementary schools, providing handouts and helmets to youth who need them.
Concussion Management Cards
Concussion is brain injury.
According to the Government of Canada, among children and youth (10-18 years) who visit an emergency department for a sports-related head injury, 39% were diagnosed with concussions, while a further 24% had possible concussions.
We promote the importance of concussion prevention and management by distributing Concussion Management Information Cards to sports organizations , all ski patrollers at Okanagan ski hills, ice and figure skating clubs, and through Kelowna General Hospital.