A brain injury (BI) is damage to the brain from an internal event (ex: stroke, anoxia, aneurysm, carbon monoxide poisoning) or external forces (ex: assaults, motor vehicle accidents, falls, sport injuries) resulting in impairments to functioning (ex: speech & language, motor & physical functioning, attention, memory, speed of processing, psychological behavior).


  • More than half a million Colorodans are living with a brain injury
  • More than 250,000 of those have sustained a moderate to severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) (loss of consciousness over 30 min)
  • In 2019 there were nearly 20,000 ED visits and nearly 5,000 hospitalizations for TBIs in CO
  • No two brain injuries are alike
  • Each year 62,000 children are hospitalized due to a brain injury.
  • Brain injury is the leading cause of disability and death in children and adolescents in the US.
  • 435,000 children between the ages of 0 to 14 visit emergency departments due to a brain injury.
  • 37,000 children between the ages of 0 to 14 are hospitalized every year due to a brain injury.



CDHS Webinar For School Professionals

As educators, your students’ well-being is of utmost importance. Join us for a crucial session with experts Karen McAvoy, PsyD and Toni Grishman, RN, BSN where we’ll discuss points of vulnerability in school concussion protocols and how to address them effectively.  You might believe your school has a solid concussion protocol, but there could be areas of vulnerability that require attention. Let our experts guide you through a comprehensive assessment to ensure your school’s readiness in supporting students with concussions.

Stay up-to-date with the latest research and best practices in concussion management. Our speakers will provide insights to help you make informed decisions and implement evidence-based changes.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIscuirrj4uHtNoAeh0CVPw5MEorLh3SQjg

For inquiries, please contact:  Toni Grishman grishman_t@cde.state.co.us 

Don’t miss this invaluable opportunity to strengthen your school’s concussion support system. Join us as we work together to create a safer environment for our students and ensure their well-being during their academic journey.



Brain Injury Association of America’s website: https://concussionawarenessnow.org/

Concussion Awareness Training Tool: https://cattonline.com/

Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado: https://biacolorado.org/concussion-protocol/



Bennett Genzel suffered a head injury at the age of four. A fall in a playground that was dismissed at the time.

He has had lifelong issues with light and sound sensitivity, disorganization and exhaustion. This undiagnosed injury coupled with childhood trauma has resulted in great life challenges. He has been disabled since age 30. Nevertheless, he obtained three university degrees (Public Administration, Business and Library Science.)

Mr. Genzel has lived in Colorado for 30 years and has participated in head injury support groups and was appointed to the MINDSOURCE Advisory Board from its inception. He has made many recommendations to improve services, including this Public Service Campaign which he hopes can be a model for national awareness. He has also conceived of and started a support group for adults who had pediatric injuries.

Displaced by the 2013 flood he became active in advocacy for the disabled and elderly and has tried to have an impact both locally and nationally to reform health care and social services while struggling to obtain help from a very broken healthcare system.


I’m Jules Bryant. I’m an unorganized mess. My executive functioning skills are very poor despite all the cognitive therapy I’ve had. Six years ago, my PA referred me to have what I call ECT torture treatments done.

I was supposed to have 10 over a month. I had 68 over 18 months. I lost 80% of my long-term memory. The big things and small things disappeared until about 2 years ago when I started making memories again. Photos and stories don’t trigger the lost memories. I have no feelings of nostalgia when I see the things I kept. I feel like I was literally born at 41. I have to GPS my way everywhere even to places I’ve been a million times. Alexa is my external brain. I keep two calendars. I’m relearning to read. My short-term memory is horrendous, so I started with magazine articles then moved on to Buddhist books which highlight any interesting info, so I’m reading it twice. I can’t read fiction yet, but I’m bound and determined that someday I will. I can’t follow more than a couple of lines of directions. I am lost as far as tech goes.
My daughter is a lifesaver. I learn things and forget them over and over. I’ve given up on TV, it’s too hard to follow shows. I lose everything. I have a very difficult time with names and faces. Even with people I’ve met many, many times. I have to think hard to remember my friend’s names sometimes. I have convergence insufficiency from the brain injury, which is basically just blurry, double vision issues. I can have a hard time expressing myself and remembering my words which is extremely frustrating. I can’t multitask. I’m not allowed to cook or dole out my own meds. Confusion and exhaustion rule the day, but I don’t sleep much at night. I get very sidetracked and don’t always make the best decisions. I can’t handle our finances. My daughter is my caretaker. She lives at home and is a sophomore at CU Boulder. I wouldn’t have chosen to live without her.

My depression was a 9.5 but now it’s probably a 3 thanks to things like community. I took BIACs 1st class back after they came back from Covid and now I take almost every class they offer. In-person if possible. I also go to all their meetups and camping trips. This summer I went to a Creative Minds Camp with BIAC/BOAC. I also participate in some Pueblo BIAC groups. Before going to BIAC I had no friends. Through BIAC that has all changed. Now I have more friends than I know what to do with. I mean deep friendships, family by choice. I also am involved with Outdoor Mindset, Lit-up-my-mind, LoveYourBrain and Thrivers. I helped start a social media page where brain injury survivors communicate and plan
outings. I lost all my old skills but have now fallen in love with nature, hiking, meditation, camping, accessible yoga, and most loved of all photography. I’m a member of Kadampa Buddhist Center in Denver where I’ve found yet another home. I volunteer every Sunday morning plus some on occasion. It’s very small, usually less than 20 people. I check people in and sell stuff from the gift store and set up snacks. Everyone knows I have cognitive issues and they’ve all been nothing but kind to me. This brain injury has been such a mixed bag of blessings and devastation. Not an hour goes by that isn’t a challenge. I’m also still dealing with grief, anger, guilt and regret yet this is also one of the happiest periods of my life. I feel empathy, connection and so much love. I’ve become a better person and I feel like my life has purpose.


I received my first concussion as a youth riding a motorbike, it was the beginning of my journey with brain injuries. Throughout my life I have experienced concussions related to high impact sports.

It wasn’t uncommon to shake it off, deny to myself that I was hurt even when knocked unconscious. No Pain No Gain.

The repeated blows from martial arts, boxing, and mountain biking collisions eventually caught up. A motorcycle accident, pedestrian vehicle accident and stroke changed my life and put me on a path to a life of self-destruction. The consequences lead to cognitive, memory, emotional, speech, and balance issues, all related to the numerous impacts to my brain.

A lack of support, resources, and community added to the depression, isolation, loss of career, family chaos, legal issues, substance use, and attempts to commit suicide. My name is Maria and I live in Pueblo, CO, I am advocate, support group leader, peer mentor with the Brain Injury Alliance of CO and director Pueblo Brain Injury, LLC and nonprofit Re-Inspired Minds. Today I have support and I found my community.


My daughter passionately played basketball since the age of 8 and sustained multiple concussions while playing with the last one resulting in a diagnosis of mTBI when she was a freshman in high school.

After her last concussion, she missed numerous days of school because of the physical challenges resulting from the concussion. One evening, I saw a public service announcement on a local television station describing symptoms of a brain injury. I realized right then that she had a brain injury, this injury was more than just a ding to her head. I immediately called the Hotline and signed her up for assistance. With support and guidance, she had access to care coordination, medical, physical, and financial support, and help to navigate her return to high school. She went on to complete her college education in 4 years and completed a master’s in healthcare.




  • Colorado ranks 9th in the nation of fatalities due to a TBI and 13th in the nation of hospitalizations due to a TBI
  • Almost 5,000 individuals are hospitalized and nearly 1,000 die due to a TBI in Colorado each year
  • 23,500 emergency room visits each year are due to a TBI
  • Males are twice as likely to sustain a TBI in Colorado as females
  • The age groups with the highest risk of sustaining a TBI in Colorado are 15-24 and 65+
  • Each year, 2,200 individuals continue to experience disability one year after hospitalization for a TBI

More Colorado Statistics






BI Month Events for 2023 have expired. Please check back next year.





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