“I felt comfortable talking to my friends and teammates about it, but not my coach, who wasn’t the best with injured people anyway,” said Taylor, a female lacrosse player referenced by first name only. She shares her personal concussion story as part of a new online resource produced by TeachAids.
“Coaches have to understand that we want to be playing, but sometimes we need more time to let ourselves heal,” Taylor said. “We need support.”
The hope is that Taylor’s personal experience, or one of over 700 other concussion stories like hers, will prove helpful for a future concussion victim. While each injury is unique, hearing another person’s similar account could help offset some of the fear and anxiety that surrounds a concussion, also known as a mild traumatic brain injury.
That’s the goal behind the Concussion Story Wall, which gathered narratives from over 600 people that have experienced a concussion or been a caretaker for someone with the injury.
The new interactive database includes videos of professional athletes, veterans, and other concussed individuals. Athletes from many sports, including lacrosse, are among those who share their personal stories.
Over two years in the making, the CrashCourse Concussion Story Wall project was spearheaded by the Brain Injury Association of America to help raise awareness and encourage advocacy in honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month.
The creators of the project hope that it will serve as a comprehensive resource to help further the understanding of brain injury and how it impacts both the individual and those around them.
The National Council of Youth Sports is helping to make the Concussion Story Wall available to the public. US Lacrosse is a member of the NCYS, which serves as an advocate organization for youth sports.
In addition to personal accounts from several lacrosse athletes, Dr. Ruben Echemendia of the US Lacrosse Sports Science & Safety Committee is one of 14 featured medical experts in the Concussion Story Wall addressing specific aspects of concussion, including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
“It’s important to keep in mind that psychological symptoms frequently accompany concussions,” Echemendia said. “Symptoms like anxiety, depression, frustration, anger, irritability, and they take people by surprise because they are not used to having these symptoms and they don’t know how to talk about them. It’s important to share those symptoms because we can do something about them. We have treatment approaches for all of them.”