Who We Are

Who We Are: Our Story

BrainTrust Canada began in 1986 as a small group who saw a need for greater support and resources for those with brain injury. This group included people with brain injury, family members, care home owners, an occupational therapist, and a personal injury lawyer. They had two goals: to create formal support groups and find more supportive housing for those living with brain injury. Over time that organized group grew and evolved, going through a few names over the years, from North & South Okanagan Head Injury Society to the Central Okanagan Brain Injury Society, before finally becoming who we are now, BrainTrust Canada Association.  
 
One of our founding directors, Paul Mitchell, a Kelowna-based personal injury lawyer has dedicated much of his career to advocating on behalf of those with brain injury. He provided guidance as a director on our board for over 25 years. In addition, Pushor Mitchell LLP has sponsored our brain injury symposium, BRAINx, for almost 30 years.
BrainTrust's focus now is on improving the lives of those affected by concussion and brain injury. We also raise awareness about brain injury and reduce preventable brain injury offering a wide variety of services, programs, and educational resources to the Okanagan and across Canada.

Our Team

BrainTrust is led by our CEO Mia Burgess, alongside a trusted Board of Directors. 

Our supportive staff consists of Administration, Client Services, Community Support Facilitators, Occupational Therapists, and Clinical Counsellers.

Meet the team. 

Strategic Plan

Read about our strategic plan for BrainTrust Canada over the next three years. This plan will inform and elevate our work at BrainTrust in hopes of RAISING THE BAR as an organization.

The beginnings of this strategic plan started in 2019 through funding provided by City of Kelowna, and in facilitation with Dr. Kyleen Myrah. Insights and priorities were gathered from staff, board members, and key stakeholders.

The outcomes resulted in updated mission and values, as well as strategic priorities, and the plan to take BrainTrust to the next level as a leader of brain injury recovery.

Read the full report.

Raising the Bar: Strategic Plan 2020

Client Stories

“I’m living my dream because of BrainTrust.” - Mark Bertolutti, BrainTrust Client

We work with clients to help improve their lives after concussion and brain injury. 

Many of our clients have found support, relief, and help on their road to recovery through our services. 

Read their stories. 

Funders & Donors

BrainTrust gratefully acknowledges funding provided by Interior Health, Community Living British Columbia, and the Government of British Columbia.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility Criteria for Services

To be eligible for services you must have proof of diagnosis of an acquired brain injury¹. This must be confirmed by a physician and through medical or rehabilitation documentation².

1 Proof of acquired brain injury

    • CT scan, neurologist report, physiatrist report, MRI report

2 Medical/rehabilitation documentation must clearly indicate acquired brain injury. We accept:

    • Psychiatric reports with DSM IV diagnosis of acquired brain injury
    • Neuropsychological assessments
    • Hospital records
    • Medical/rehabilitation or hospital discharge reports

Additional criteria:

  • Age 12 and up
  • Currently living in BrainTrust's catchment area -  Central Okanagan from Armstrong to Peachland, BC
  • Please note: The Youth Concussion Clinic has additional eligibility criteria.

Cost

Many of our services are free of charge. Your initial consultation is also free.

Fees are determined based on financial need and available funding. Information on fees will be outlined at your consultation. You may also contact us for more information.

FAQs

We help people with concussion and acquired brain injury. Our programs and services provide assistance in many areas of post-injury life. You can read more here about the kinds of services we offer. 

You must have a medically documented (diagnosed) concussion/brain injury to receive our services. If you have documentation for your brain injury, you can book an appointment for a consultation.

See our Eligibility Criteria for Service for more information. 

In most cases, your family doctor should be able to provide you with documentation. If you don't have a regular family doctor, you may need to get your records from a clinic or hospital you attended.
 
Read our Eligibility Criteria for Service to see the kinds of documentation we can accept.
 
Please reach out if you are having trouble getting the documentation you need.
 
 

Many of our services are free of charge. Your initial consultation is also free.

Fees are determined based on financial need and available funding. Information on fees will be outlined at your consultation. You may also contact us for more information.

 
 
You can get a referral to a neuropsychologist through your family doctor. You may also be able to get a referral through WorkBC.
 
A neuropsychologist is a specialist who completes an assessment on you following your brain injury. The final report includes:
  • a diagnosis,
  • recommendations for treatment, and
  • a description of the effects of your deficits and strengths on post-injury life.
This is helpful information when planning the kinds of services you'll need.

Limited access to services may be possible, depending on availability. 

We may also be able to direct you to resources you need outside of BrainTrust.

If you meet our Eligibility Criteria, you can book an appointment for a consultation right away. Consultations are booked for Tuesdays between 12:00 and 2:00 pm.

If you qualify for free services, the wait is usually 2-4 weeks.

If you are paying a fee for services, you can begin almost immediately.

We offer a variety of group programs. One of our groups is a Peer Support group.

You can learn more about our group programs here.

See our Eligibility Criteria to find out how to qualify for our services.

Once you qualify and have had your initial consultation, you will be assigned a case worker. Your worker may recommend participating in a group program.

We offer support in helping you find a safe, affordable place to live. We can also help you apply for subsidized housing.
 

If you're feeling suicidal call:

  • 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) to get help right away, any time of day or night. It’s a free call.
  • Our Local Crisis Line: Call 1-888-353-2273 24 hours a day. You'll get connected to a BC crisis line, without a wait or busy signal. The crisis line operators have advanced training in mental health issues and services.
  • Interior Health Community Response Team (CRT): 250-212-8533 They will come check on you in your home. Operates 11:30am-9:00pm, seven days a week.
It's not unusual to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed after sustaining a brain injury. We work 1:1 with our clients to help them with managing their emotions.
 
If you need more intensive support, we may offer you clinical counselling. Our counsellors have master's degrees and are trained in brain injury.
 
 Contact us to discuss your needs.

You can get free legal support at B.C. Legal  Aid.

Brain injury can be devastating for family members and loved ones. Supporting families/caregivers is an important aspect of the work we do.
 
We offer 1:1 Life Skills Support with:
  • helping you understand brain injury and how you can help the individual recover
  • adjusting to the changes in your roles and relationship
  • managing overwhelming emotions
Our Brain Injury 101 information session is also open to spouses/caregivers. 
 
To learn more or set up an appointment for caregiver support, please call 250-762-3233 or send us an email.

We work with people who have a medically documented acquired brain injury. Anyone who is 18 or over is considered an adult and must request support for themselves. Read here for more information.

Interested in working with us?

See our current job openings or contact us for volunteer opportunities.

 

For audited financials and detailed financial information on our charity please visit the CRA - Charity website.

BrainTrust Canada is located in Kelowna, B.C. on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Syilx/ Okanagan Peoples.

 

Phone: 250-762-3233
Toll-Free: 1-800-762-3233

Our Mission

To bring the issue of brain injury to the forefront, reduce preventable brain injuries and maximize the potential of those who have been affected by brain injury through programs and advocacy.