Upcoming Projects

RECOVERY MENTOR PROGRAM

For Young Survivors Recovering From Traumatic Brain Injury
The Headstrong Mentor Program was initially created by one family to give their teenage son tutoring,
friendship, and social mentoring during his recovery from a severe TBI. Because of the success of this
program, we are developing a Mentor Program to help young survivors of TBI reintegrate into their
communities. The HEADSTRONG Mentor Program is based on the highly successful Apprentice Program
developed by School & Community Supports (SCS) and supported by the Brain Injury Alliance of New
York State (BIANYS).
One of the most difficult aspects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the loss of friends. TBI affects
everyone differently, but the injury commonly affects: physical abilities, speech, cognition, emotional
control, and personality. Family, friends, and co-workers are saddened by the injury and bewildered by how
to act. Too frequently, one by one, friends, classmates, co-workers, teammates, even family members pull
away and move on with their lives. The recovering person notices friends and loved ones have gone away
and often blame themselves. Depression and substance abuse are frequent outcomes of social isolation. We know being connected to our community is critical to recovery for recovery.
The Headstrong Mentor Program reduces social isolation, depression, substance abuse, and
institutionalization so often experienced by young adults with TBI. Our program is a key element in a
concerted collaboration between state and local leaders on the issue of TBI recovery. Headstrong and other
support, medical, and military organizations are firmly committed to improving community support for
our vulnerable youth, citizens and soldiers recovering from TBI. We are collaborating with AmeriCorps to
develop a national model for the Mentor Program as part of the expansion of National Service.
Under the Recovery Mentor Program pilot five key elements will be implemented:
1. A Mentor Training Manual.
2. Training for Mentors, families and school staff.
3. Headstrong Mentors will partner with each recovering person.
4. Oversight for the Mentors and families.
5. Family and peer review to evaluate the pilot.
Expected outcomes for the Recovery Mentor Program pilot include:
1. Increase social mobility in the community.
2. Improve relationships with teachers and peers.
3. Increase independence.
4. Reduce social isolation and depression.
5. Reduce potential for drug and alcohol abuse.
6. Establish best practices for a Recovery Mentor Program.
Contact Alice Hooper at alice@headstrongforlife.org for more information on our Mentor
Program.