WHEREAS, every year traumatic brain injuries occur in the lives of more than 1.7 million Americans, and severe injuries have resulted in an estimated 5.3 million Americans living with lifelong disabilities; and
WHEREAS, damage to the brain can result from a multitude of causes including falls, motor vehicle or sport accidents, stroke, assault, and other trauma that can affect a person cognitively, physically, emotionally, and behaviorally; and
WHEREAS, the consequences of an injury to the brain can include short- and long-term memory loss, double- or low-vision, headaches or migraines, fatigue, increased anxiety, depression, mood swings, and impulsive behavior; and
WHEREAS, this year, an estimated 800 Alaskans will be hospitalized and 150 will die because of a traumatic brain injury. In addition, an estimated 247 Alaskans will be permanently disabled due to a brain injury; leaving Alaska with the highest rate of traumatic brain injury in the nation; and
WHEREAS, more than 10,000 Alaskans are living with the results of a traumatic brain injury. The cost of treatment can be devastating both emotionally and financially, and includes lost wages, medical treatment, mental and behavioral health treatment, rehabilitation needs, and family therapy. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Behavioral Health, the lead state agency for Traumatic Brain Injury, is working toward developing and maintaining an infrastructure that provides the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral treatment needs for Traumatic Brain Injury survivors throughout the State of Alaska; and
WHEREAS, public awareness of the impact, consequences, and causes of brain injury is essential to the prevention of these injuries.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael J. Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim March 2019 as:
Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month
in Alaska, and encourage everyone to recognize those impacted by brain injuries and to continue to improve efforts for, and knowledge of, the prevention and treatment of brain injury.