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Learn about brain injuries, the rehabilitation journey, from diagnosis and treatment to the ongoing support and independence.
The Brain Injury Linkworker Service is based on the belief in equal and fair access to neurorehabilitation for all. Learn how we can support your organisation.
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Home / About brain injury / Brain injury and homelessness
Understanding the link
Our research, backed up by international studies suggests that half of all homeless people may live with a brain injury.
It also suggests that brain injury may contribute to becoming homeless, as 90% of respondents in our study reported that their first injury had been sustained before becoming homeless.
Both figures indicate that better awareness and provision of appropriate services could help prevent people from becoming homeless and support those already experiencing it.
Brain injury is often referred to as a ‘hidden disability’ as the cognitive, behavioural, and emotional consequences are not visible to the naked eye and can often be interpreted as behaviour that challenges. As such, the impacts of a brain injury can make it very difficult to plan, gain and maintain accommodation. For example, a brain injury may:
of people experiencing homelessness have a brain injury
sustained their injury before becoming homeless
had sustained more than one head injury
In 2012, we conducted the first-ever UK research study into the prevalence of brain injury within the homeless community of Leeds. 48% cent of homeless people had sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This was over twice the number in a control group of people who were not homeless (21%). Of the 48% we assessed:
Following these research studies, we provided a Community Linkworker service in Leeds to support those experiencing homelessness who may have a brain injury. The Community Linkworker identified people with a brain injury by screening them using the Brain Injury Screening Index (BISI ®). This service is no longer running, however, you can read the report here.
In 2023, Brainkind met with the Minister for Housing and Homelessness to discuss our recommendations for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). We put a set of proposals to the minister, which you can read here. We are hoping to reconnect with DLUHC following the publication of the ABI Strategy.
The Brainkind Policy and Social Change team also delivered brain injury training in the BISI® for frontline practitioners for Changing Futures Sheffield. The training was to support their research establishing the prevalence of brain injury amongst vulnerable populations in Sheffield, including those experiencing homelessness. This project is ongoing and due to conclude later this year.
We are looking at expanding our training offer for practitioners working in healthcare and homelessness services. More information on this will be available in 2024.
People with brain injuries and other neurological conditions have unique needs. To help as many people as possible, we have a network neurological centres, assessment and rehab services, and community support services across the UK.