It's time for Ottawa to establish a national strategy on brain injuries
Domestic abuse, homelessness, substance abuse, overdose, mental health, and now Covid-19 are all linked to brain injury. MP Alistair MacGregor’s Bill C-277 is calling on the government to develop a national strategy to support and improve brain injury prevention and treatment.
We know that over 1.5 million Canadians live with brain injury and it contributes to homelessness, incarceration, substance use and mental health issues.
That is why Alistair is very pleased to have introduced this bill, which would establish a national brain injury strategy. It would require the Minister of Health to develop a national strategy to support and improve brain injury awareness, prevention and treatment, as well as the rehabilitation and recovery of persons living with brain injury.
The strategy requires a number of things, like the implementation of preventative measures and identifying the training, education and guidance needs of health care professionals, but it will also identify the challenges resulting from brain injury, such as mental health problems, addiction, housing and homelessness issues, and criminality. The bill would also have reporting requirements so that Parliament can keep tabs on this strategy.
We'd like to thank Brain Injury Canada and Janelle from Alistair's riding of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, who is a member of the Constable Gerald Breese Centre for Traumatic Life Losses, for their collaboration and input, which made this bill possible.
In July 2023, Brain Injury Canada and the Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium released a position paper on the need for moderate to severe traumatic brain injury to be designated a chronic condition. The paper further highlights the need for a national strategy on brain injuries.