The mother of Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke has spoken out about the dire need to improve mental health services for brain injury survivors after her daughter survived two brain haemorrhages.
Jenny Clarke, who co-founded the charity SameYou with Emilia Clarke four years ago, spoke to delegates at Northamptonshire Acquired Brain Injuries Forum’s (ABIF) conference.
Shoosmiths’ Serious Injury is a long-term supporter of ABIF Northants.
Jenny told the group that Emilia had helped to normalise conditions by speaking openly about her brain injury, and in turn thousands of survivors had shared their stories and also revealed their battles to access support.
She advised how its work with teams around the world has helped to deliver practical help and improvements in recovery.
She told the conference that brain injury is one of the biggest, yet most neglected, global health challenges we face. Almost 1 in 3 people will experience an acquired brain injury – a stroke, brain haemorrhage, tumour or traumatic injury – in their lifetime.
But she said messages from SameYou's community reveal there is a huge unmet need, on a global level, that outline there is not enough support for those leaving hospital. It is important brain injury survivors speak out and call for change.
Jenny said: “By combining voices, we all have the power to advocate for change. By unsilencing brain injury survivors and revealing their stories, their wants and needs, we can highlight the gaping chasm in care and demand better.
“Mental health support has to change.”
The event also saw the launch of the Renewed Services Directory for Acquired Brain Injury Services in Northamptonshire.
Key speakers on the day also included Dr Keith Jenkins, chair of Northamptonshire ABIF and Sarah Russell, Head of Public Affairs for charity Headway UK.
The audience also heard about the unique lived experiences of those living with a brain injury.
Sharine Burgess, head of Shoosmiths’ Northampton office and partner in the serious injury team, said: “I want to extend my thanks to Jenny Clarke of SameYou for her talk at the ABIF Northants conference.
“Jenny, along with other speakers including Ray Coulton and Michelle Semples, were truly inspirational, in sharing their unique lived experiences of living with acquired brain injury.”
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