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MacGregor introduces bill to improve traumatic brain injury prevention and treatment

MP cites the need for a national strategy based on symptoms and links to other health problems
Bill put forward by Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor aims to introduce a national strategy on brain injuries. (Photo by Bernard Thibodeau)

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor introduced Private Member’s Bill C-323, the National Strategy on Brain Injuries Act, during Brain Injury Awareness Month in June, calling on the federal government to develop a national strategy to support and improve brain injury prevention and treatment.

More than 1.5 million Canadians suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury, MacGregor noted, with symptoms that range from dizziness and motion sickness to short and long term memory loss. TBI has been linked to many other health problems, such as changes in temperament, depression and anxiety, and drug and alcohol use.

MacGregor’s bill would implement a national strategy on TBI by promoting the implementation of preventive measures to reduce risk; identifying the training, education and guidance needs of health care professionals; promoting research and improve data collection; creating national guidelines on the prevention, diagnosis, and management of brain injuries; encouraging the use of consulting psychologists to create a national support system; and developing and maintaining a government website to provide current facts, research and best practices.

Through consultation with mental health experts and constituents, MacGregor found a need for federal action to address TBIs caused by intimate partner violence and nonfatal drug overdoses known as Toxic Brain Injury.

“Given new research on the number of brain injuries arising from intimate partner violence and overdose survivors, it is apparent that a federal framework is needed to address the growing issue of TBIs, both in terms of services and research, and in prevention and public awareness,” stated MacGregor. “Canadians living with TBI symptoms deserve equal access to the best available care and treatment, and Bill C-323 aims to do just that.”

“On behalf of my family and our entire board at the CGB Centre for Traumatic Life Losses, I want to thank Alistair MacGregor for his compassion, and ongoing commitment to ensuring those living with an acquired brain injury, and their families, receive the care they need,” noted Janelle Breese Biagioni, founder & chief executive officer of Constable Gerald Breese Centre for Traumatic Life Losses. “This is going to make a difference in the lives of so many.”