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Silverlining Brain Injury Charity Survey On Lockdown Effects

June 2, 2020

As someone living with Cerebral Palsy, which could be described as a brain injury, I was very interested to learn about a survey by the Silverlining Brain Injury Charity.

The charity surveyed 50 of its members about how they were coping with the current Coronavirus lockdown.

Positively, no one said that they were not coping at all with the lockdown.  Most (70%) said that they are coping OK with 26% coping well.  However, 4% said they are coping poorly.

The majority of Silverliners – 76%- were self-isolating with others and 94% did have at least 1-2 people to talk to every day, with some having even more.  Whereas 6% of those surveyed did not have anyone to talk to at all.

Worryingly for those who rely on support workers to meet personal care needs and for social activities,  when asked if COVID-19 had interfered with their ability to have support workers, 12% said it had severely interfered and 20% said it had somewhat interfered.  Only 6 % of those with support workers had not been affected at all. 54% of those surveyed didn’t have support workers before.

A worryingly high 49% of Silverliners surveyed answered that they experience depression, some moderately and some severely.

Regardless of the current situation, it is common for those who have sustained a brain injury to experience depression.  Headway research found that 50% of people with a brain injury will experience depression within the first year after their injury.

Another worrying finding of the survey is that 64% said their mood has been affected by COVID-19, with 54% identifying being moderately affected and 10% being severely affected.

A worryingly high 56% reported that their anxiety has increased moderately and a further 10% said theirs has increased severely.  Only 34% said that they did not have increased anxiety as a result of COVID-19.

One important outcome of this survey is that it shines a light on the experiences people with brain injuries are having during the COVID-19 lockdown.  It is important for people who live with or are friends with a brain injury survivor to be aware of the effects isolation can have, especially surrounding mood changes and increased anxiety.

The survey clearly shows that at a time where usual avenues of support for people might now be inaccessible, the Silverlining Brain Injury Charity and other groups like them are needed more than ever.

In response to the COVID-19 measures many charities are converting their services to be accessible online.  The Silverlining London group have swapped their monthly get-togethers for weekly Zoom meetings.  They are also making weekly telephone calls to members to keep in touch.

If you or someone you know could benefit from Silverlinings, please visit their website through the link in the first paragraph of this article.

Bolt Burdon Kemp Solicitors supported Silverlining in running the survey. The statistics quoted in this article came with many thanks to their team member Sally Simpson.

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