ABI Support Group

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Acquired ​
Brain
Injury 

ABI* Support Group
All Things Become New
Beautifully Broken / TBI**/ABI
Stroke & Caregiver Support
Brain Aneurysm/AVM**** Community Together
Suzanne   Mindy
Brain Injury Association of
America - Maine Chapter
Mindy Forino and Suzanne Morneault are excited to have begun a ‘one of it’s kind’ support at TAMC for individuals with ABI’s and TBI’s
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TBI** & PCS*** Survivors
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*ABI (Acquired Head Injury)   ** TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury   *** PCS (Post Concussion Syndrome)   **** AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation)
The Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Support Group is an excellent resource
located in the central Aroostook County area for individuals who have
suffered from some form of brain injury and for caregivers. The group
meets twice a month at 10:00 a.m. on the 2nd and 4th Thursday
mornings on the second floor of the McCain Building located at The
Aroostook Medical Center, 140 Academy Street, Presque Isle, Maine.

One meeting each month will be topical or educational in nature and
might feature guest speakers such as physical, occupational or speech
therapists. The second meeting of the month will be project-based and
offers the chance for participants to experiment in the arts.

ABI is the innovation of Suzanne Morneault and her daughter Mindy.
Mindy received a traumatic brain injury during a soccer game when she
was a senior in college. After her injury she began having seizures,
which drastically changed her life. This was Suzanne’s personal
introduction to the role of a caregiver that prompted her to start a support
group for caregivers in Fort Kent. Suzanne’s successful efforts with this
group led to interest in starting a group in central Aroostook. People
from the Presque Isle area with brain injuries and their caregivers
reached out to Suzanne seeking help.

Presque Isle is centrally located in the county, so it is a convenient place
for a support group. While the Fort Kent group is geared more toward
caregivers, the new support group in Presque Isle is focused on the
individuals themselves who are living with a brain injury. However,
caregivers are certainly invited and encouraged to attend the Presque Isle
group as they can network with other caregivers and support each other.

Suzanne and Mindy will co-lead our meetings initially, but the plan is to
transition over time to meetings being led directly by Mindy and Loretta
Coty, a local artist, who is on the road to recovery from a brain injury,
and who has devoted her last sixteen years to working closely with local
children with disabilities and their families.

For years there has been a need for a brain injury and caregiver support
group in the central area. The Presque Isle support group is intended to
serve those with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). Examples of ABI include:
traumatic brain injury, stroke, brain illness, any kind of brain injury
acquired after birth, and head injury incurred in accidents, etc. It does
not include degenerative brain conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease,
dementias, or Parkinson’s Disease. The ABI support group does not
focus on the accident or health condition that caused their injury but
rather on how survivors can come to accept what has happened to them
and move forward by adjusting to a “new normal.”

Repercussions following acquired brain injuries can become very
challenging for survivors AND their caregivers.  Depending on the
severity of the injury, along with which part of the brain is affected, the
level of recovery can vary from one survivor to another. This means the
level of care required of each individual caregiver will also vary. Being
part of a group where its members communicate with others who truly
relate to others experiencing similar challenges can be a positive “life-
changing experience” for everyone involved