OBIA Supports and Services

Toll-Free Helpline

The Toll-Free Helpline provides confidential, emotional support to anyone impacted by a brain injury, including those with a brain injury or concussion, family members and friends, and professionals. The Helpline empowers callers to cope with specific aspects of their life, offers information about brain injury, and makes appropriate community referrals.

You are not alone when dealing with difficult or challenging issues relating to Brain Injury we are here to help!

If you need support, please call 1-800-263-5404 or email: support@obia.ca.

Online Concussion Support Group

The Online Concussion Support Group provides a safe place where individuals can share their frustrations and challenges and connect with others with similar experiences. A registered social worker facilitates the groups and teaches strategies to help manage symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome. Each group meets one hour per week for eight weeks by computer or phone.

There is no cost to participants; however, registration is required.

Click here to register for an upcoming group.

Online Caregiver Support Group

The Online Caregiver Support Group provides a confidential place where individuals can share their experiences and challenges with others with similar experiences. A registered social worker facilitates the groups and teaches strategies to help manage the stresses associated with caring for a loved one with a brain injury. Each group meets one hour per week for eight weeks by computer or phone.

There is no cost to participants; however, registration is required.

Click here to register for an upcoming group.

Peer Support Program

The Peer Support Program connects an individual looking for support with a mentor with similar personal interests, needs, and experiences. Partners have the opportunity to speak with someone who can offer support based on their journey with brain injury. The Peer Support Program is coordinated through local brain injury associations and available to individuals with a brain injury and their family members.

If you are interested in participating in this program, reach out to the OBIA Helpline at 1-800-263-5404 or by email at support@obia.on.ca.

Brain Injury Impact Study

OBIA has been conducting research for more than 25 years. Many things have changed over the years, including the incidence and impact of concussion being brought to the forefront. For our research to remain relevant, we are transitioning from the Research Questionnaire to the Brain Injury Impact Study.

The Brain Injury Impact Study has two questionnaires, one for those with a brain injury/concussion and another for family members and caregivers. Both questionnaires are available in a paper format or online.

The purpose of this important research is to advocate for services, raise awareness about the needs and long-term outcomes of those living with a brain injury, and to provide relevant data to better inform those who are looking at ways in which people living with a brain injury can be better served.

By participating in this study, you will receive a FREE membership to OBIA and a participating local association of your choice.

Join Our Research Study, Make a Difference!

Click Here – Individuals with a Brain Injury/Concussion (Ages 16+)

Click Here – Family Members and Caregivers

If you would like a paper copy of the questionnaire mailed to you or you have questions, please contact research@obia.on.ca

Brain Injury Speaks

The Brain Injury Speaks Network is a community of survivors and their caregivers or family members. The goal of the Network is to empower those who are living with brain injury to share their experiences, engage in dialogue, and advise on the future direction of brain injury care in Ontario. The network will promote fluid communication among policy makers, allied healthcare providers, organizations representing persons with lived experience and the ABI community.

Click Here to Join the Network 

If you would like more information about Brain Injury Speaks, contact Gazal Kukreja at gkukreja@obia.ca or by phone 905-641-8877 ext. 250.

Brain Basics

The Brain Basics Training Program is designed to provide front line Health Care Workers, Caregivers, Survivors and others with an opportunity to learn about the world of Brain Injury.

  • Offered in-person or online, this program provides education regarding:
  • The structure and function of the brain
  • The consequences of an Acquired Brain Injury
  • Strategies to work effectively with people living with the effects of Acquired Brain Injury
  • The roles of the various people who form the team responsible for the recovery and well-being of the person with the Acquired Brain Injury.

Click here to take the online program.

If you would like more information about the in-person Brain Basics Training Program, please contact training@obia.on.ca.

Brock University Certificate Training Programs

The Ontario Brain Injury Association in conjunction with Brock University has developed a Certificate Training Program to provide professionals with the tools and knowledge to assist clients with recovery and function in everyday life following acquired brain injury.

These courses are directly primarily at individuals working in the community or home-based care; however, family members and individuals with a brain injury are welcome to participate. The program consists of two levels of courses and welcomes guest lecturers specializing in brain injury from across North America.

For more information about these courses, visit http://obia.ca/brock-university-certificate-courses/ or email training@obia.on.ca.

Listed below are resources for guidance. Please review our map or download our portable pdf.

Listed below are resources for guidance. Please review our map or download our portable pdf.

Local Associations

Across Ontario, there are community associations to help support and educate those with a brain injury and their families. Along with OBIA, these associations also work to strengthen the voice of those impacted by brain injury in Ontario.

ABI System Navigator

The Local Health Integrated Network segregates the province into 14 regions and each region has an ABI System Navigator that helps those with a brain injury access services. Below is a list of all those navigators in each region.

The Brain Injury Service Provider

Brain Injury Service Providers offer publicly funded services as well as additional services that may be covered by private insurance.

Resource Map

For additional resources for caregivers, please see the following organizations:

Funding Sources

Disability Tax Credit

Canada Caregiver Tax Credit

Ontario Disability Support Program

  • ODSP is designed to help individuals with disabilities afford daily living expenses. It also provides benefits for an individual and their families such as prescription costs, vision care, or travel costs associated with doctor appointments.
  • To qualify for ODSP, individuals must be a resident of Ontario, over the age of 18, be in financial need, and meet the requirements of a person with a disability.
  • Applications for ODSP can begin online, by phone, or in person at your local ODSP office. Once you have started the application, a caseworker will reach out to you, and an approved health care professional will be required to complete a disability determination package.
  • For more information about ODSP please visit Ontario’s Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services: https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/

Canada Pension Plan Disability

EI Caregiver Benefits and Leave

  • Caregivers are eligible for 55% of their pay through employment insurance to allow them to take time away from work to care for a critically ill or injured person. To receive this income support you do not need to be related to or live with the person.
  • For more information about the EI Caregiver Benefit, refer to the Government of Canada website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/caregiving.html

There may be additional income supports available for families following their loved one’s brain injury depending upon the circumstances surrounding the injury. For example, individuals may be able to access Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits, long-term disability, WSIB Insurance, or Motor Vehicle Insurance.

In addition to publicly funded services available in Ontario, there are many private providers. For more information about these services please refer to OBIA’s Directory of Services here: http://obia.ca/directory-of-abi-services/

Video Gallery

Ruth Wilcock: What is Brain Injury

Nancy: Emotional Rollercoaster 

Ruth Wilcock: What is Brain Injury

Nancy: Emotional Rollercoaster 

Ivars: Family Adjustment

Joanne: Impact on Siblings 

Ivars: Family Adjustment

Joanne: Impact on Siblings 

Brenda Agnew: The Cost of Caregiving 

Fran: Coping with Stress in the Long-term

Brenda Agnew: The Cost of Caregiving 

Fran: Coping with Stress in the Long-term

Pierre: Managing Stress

Nancy: Taking the Time

Pierre: Managing Stress

Nancy: Taking the Time

Brenda Agnew: Managing the worries

 Deb Crowe: Managing Communication With Behavioural Challenges 

Brenda Agnew: Managing the worries

 Deb Crowe: Managing Communication With Behavioural Challenges 

Joanne – When other relationships Develop

Ivars – Tapping into hidden supports

Joanne – When other relationships Develop

Ivars – Tapping into hidden supports

 Deb Crowe – Strategies for Advocacy

 Physical Changes

 Deb Crowe – Strategies for Advocacy

 Physical Changes

 Coginitive Changes

Emotional Changes

 Coginitive Changes

Emotional Changes

Nadine talking about her family after her son’s stroke

Elizabeth talking about her son’s changes following his brain injury

Nadine talking about her family after her son’s stroke

Elizabeth talking about her son’s changes following his brain injury