Free program brings new life after brain injury
ONE life-changing event can take away a person's
ability to work, drive a car and even enjoy the most common
It is estimated one in every 45 Australians experience a brain
injury each year.
Gladstone Community Health is partnering with the Acquired Brain
Injury Outreach Service to provide a free six-week Skills to Enable
People and Communities (STEPS) Program.
STEPS Program co-ordinator Ben Turner said more than 800
participants had completed the six-week program at about 100 sites
"The program provides an excellent opportunity to develop
strategies and skills to continue to achieve their goals after such
a life-changing event," Mr Turner said.
Charmaine Mullemeister, 25, knows all too well the impacts of a
life-threatening brain injury.
On her 18th birthday, her family was rocked by the news she was
in a single-vehicle car accident. At the time, she was meant to
begin study at a Brisbane university in the following months.
These plans dramatically changed when she had to spend nine
months in Brisbane recovering from the damage to her frontal
Seven years on and she continues to battle the side effects,
impacting her memory, concentration, cognition, hearing and
She is surrounded by a positive support network from her family,
including mum Joyce Mullemeister.
Last year Charmaine attended the STEPS program in Gladstone.
"A lot of people don't know where to go. It's not what you know,
it's who you know. You get to meet people who can help you at the
program," Charmaine said.
She enjoyed the social aspect of it, meeting people who had had
similar experiences to her.
"It's amazing, the different behaviours and side effects."
Joyce said, "During the aftermath lots of people get stressed
and depressed and they can't continue working. They need to find a
way to get their confidence back."
References and further information