Brain Injuries Survey
More than 60% of people who have suffered from a brain injury are unemployed according to a survey commissioned by brain injury association Headway.
Thought to be the first survey to explore how people feel about brain injuries, figures reveal that 68% feel they are discriminated against in society and almost half of participants find it hard to tell people about their injury.
In addition, 60% have been discriminated against by one or more statutory service such as health and social care.
A total of 639 people took part in the survey prepared in conjunction with the clinical neuropsychology team at the University of Exeter released at the start of Brain Injury Awareness Week 2008 (March 31 April 06).
The annual event is designed by the National association to help raise the general public's awareness of the challenges people with brain injuries face in their everyday lives, as well as highlighting the social prejudices they have to endure.
Grahame Codd from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "An injury to the head frequently involves an injury to the brain - and such injuries are very different from injuries to other parts of the body as they can affect cognitive and intellectual functioning, psychological and emotional responses as well as physical co-ordination.
"At the same time the requirements of employment continue to place increased demands upon people. It is not therefore surprising that such a large proportion of head injured people find it impossible to return to work. In addition, because the injury within the brain does not usually cause gross and obvious disability, members of the general public - including those working in statutory services such as schools and hospitals - will often fail to recognise that any problem exists.
"We therefore often find that those who suffer from a head injury will need a great deal of help from ourselves in protecting them and representing their interests in a number of ways. Raising awareness of the problems faced by those with head or brain injuries is an important step towards improving their quality of life."