brain injury awareness week 2020

Why Social Isolation?

During the COVID-19 global pandemic many people experienced significant social isolation for the first time. People with brain injury know all about this. All too often this is their day-to-day experience following a brain injury. While life goes on as normal around them, their own social networks can become fractured leaving them feeling forgotten, invisible and alone. This inspired our theme for this year’s Brain Injury Awareness Week:

‘Welcome to our World’ : Social Isolation after Brain Injury

This Brain Injury Awareness Week we are exploring stories from people with brain injury and their families about what has worked for them in combating the social isolation that everyone else is now better able to understand.


“It can be hard socially because you lose connections with friends when you don’t have the same thing in common anymore. The hardest time for me was when I left hospital. I needed to find my own structure and routine again to get back into the real world.”


“My son had a motor vehicle accident 10 years ago – and it didn’t take long for his friends to back away – I must admit that looking back on it, my friends backed off too. It is very isolating. You spend all of your time caring for your loved one, and before you know it – you realise that you are alone!”


Personal Experiences with Social Isolation

Narelle & Todd

Stories from Our Community

We spoke with our community about their experiences with social isolation, and what they’ve done to manage the difficulties and build new connections.

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Returning to the Fray

Reintegrating into society after chronic illness is a challenge Sarah faced after years of living with a brain injury and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME).

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“Isolation is one of that biggest issues that carers face. They may not realise that there’s support available out there. The first Carers group that I went to was the best thing ever. I couldn’t believe that other people had gone through the same things that I’d gone through.”


“My son was in a vehicle accident and wasn’t expected to survive. I moved to Adelaide to be with him and I have never felt so alone. I would have given anything for a friendly familiar face and someone to make me a cup of tea.”


Learn More About Social Isolation and Brain Injury

Understanding Social Isolation as You Recover

The time spent in recovery paired with the changes that occur as a result of injury can all contribute to experiences of social isolation. What’s important however, is understanding the situation and knowing how to address social isolation as you remain focused on the important process of recovery.

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Everyday Isolation After a Brain Injury

Picture this: You’re stuck at home. Your normal routine is gone, and there’s limits on what you can do and you can’t do. Your life usually has structure – work, study, hobbies, going out with friends, and without that, you’re feeling bored and frustrated. When will this end?

Read More

What’s your experience?

Have you experienced social isolation after brain injury or as a result of taking on a caring role? This week we’ve opened up our online forum for you to share and discuss your stories of social isolation with the Synapse community.

Visit the Forum

Connect on Facebook

Our Facebook peer support groups are a great way to connect with a community that understands.

The groups are moderated by Synapse staff with either lived experience or a wealth of knowledge about brain injury. We host regular online meetings and catchups as well as interviews and presentations about important topics. These are closed groups which means that only members of the group can see what you have posted.

Peer Support

Synapse Reconnections offers a safe group for people with a brain injury to connect with each other.

Join the Group

Support for Carers & Family

Synapse Reconnections – Carers is a safe group for carers and those within the support network of people with a brain injury to connect with each other.

Join the Group

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