Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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The "Tear Down This Wall" Edit ion
Call for


Please join us for BIAMD's annual Town Hall Meeting to review the year that was and explore the year that will be. We will be going over what we've done and what we will be doing in the upcoming year. We will also be reviewing our budget and having Board Elections.

from 6:00pm to 7:00pm

You can Join the Zoom Meeting at

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or Find your local number:
Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
Maryland Relay is a program Administered by Telecommunications Access of Maryland and is guided by the Governor’s Advisory Board of Telecommunications Relay, with funding from the Universal Service Trust Fund (USTF). Since its founding in 1991, Maryland Relay has been providing a wide variety of services to meet the needs of Maryland residents who have difficulty using a standard telephone. These services include call relay, free adaptive telecommunications equipment to eligible Marylanders, and educational community outreach.

Maryland Relay’s services are more relevant now more than ever in the age of COVID-19, which has hit the brain injury community especially hard. Social distancing has exacerbated the isolation that many individuals living with brain injury already experience. In a major study published in May of this year, history of TBI was significantly associated with greater loneliness compared with individuals without TBI in a representative sample of 724 US adults. These were the results without the added factor of COVID-19, which began right as the study was published.

Asia Johnson of Maryland Relay describes the profound impact of their call relay services: “We empower people to connect with others. At one outreach event, a woman came up to me and told me her husband had both hearing and vision loss, and how isolated he was becoming from friends and family. When we talked about our calling options and equipment solutions, her eyes filled with tears and she said, “I just have to hug you… this is going to change our lives.” And that’s what Maryland Relay does, it changes lives.”

CLICK HERE to find out all the Maryland Relay can do.

CLICK HERE for the article in downloadable PDF.
We are witnessing mandated social isolation and social distancing on an epic scale. As part of BIAMD's interest in serving Maryland's Brain Injury Community, we are starting what we call "Check-In Chats".

We would like to "check in" with anyone looking to share their experiences and challenges with either an individual or in a social group setting.

Even though we can't meet in person, there are many ways open to us, and, if you are interested, we would like to hear from you about your needs and how we can help you feel more connected.

Group Check-In Chat
from Noon to 1pm.

Please CLICK HERE to sign up using our online registration.

Once we receive your registration, we will send you the link.

We hope to "see" you there!
Photo by Oana-Maria Sofronia on Unsplash
Music therapy interventions have shown promising applications in neurorehabilitation to address functional recovery goals , but also to target individual self-concept perceptions and aid in the process of developing a re-integrated sense of self. The music therapy technique
of therapeutic songwriting offers a promising medium through which to deliver self concept-focused therapy post-injury. Neuroscientific evidence suggest that the medial prefrontal cortex is a key region linking music, memory and emotion, which has been used to explain the power of music to elicit strong autobiographical memories. Music engages wider and distributed neural networks, particularly involving the areas involved in emotion and reward.

Engagement in therapeutic songwriting involves building
a therapeutic alliance between participant and music therapist to explore salient personal issues through the process of composing songs and accompanying lyrics. Therapeutic songwriting has
been defined as “the process of creating, notating and/or recording lyrics and music by the client or clients and therapist within a therapeutic relationship to address psychosocial, emotional, cognitive, and communication needs of the client”. The work of Baker and colleagues has increasingly supported the benefits of therapeutic songwriting for people with neurological injuries.

CLICK HERE for more on this musical success story.
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash
Higher levels of stress are found in the hypothalamus; lower stress are found in the dorsal lateral frontal cortex.
A new study from scientists at Yale University have found where stress lives in the brain.

Test subjects were given fMRI scans while looking at images of distress including a snarling dog, mutilated faces, or filthy toilets.

"Despite the distinct roles of these networks, our findings suggest that individuals engaged both positive and negative networks adaptively to attenuate feelings of stress," the Yale scientists explain in their study. "That is, participants had higher connectivity with negative networks (whose strength predicted feeling less stressed), but, at the same time, had lower connectivity with positive networks."

CLICK HERE for more on this recent study.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF copy of this journal article.

ONLINE Brain Injury Support Groups

Severe Brain Injury Caregiver Group
Zoom Room Internet Conference
2 nd  and 4 th  Sunday of the month, 7:30 p – 8:45p
Tom Gallup 301-502-8420

BIAMD Check In Chats
Every Friday at Noon
To register for a Check-In-Chat please visit

Young Stroke Group
The first and third Fridays of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET.
​For individuals in their 20’s to 60’s, Contact: Susan Emery

Rockville Brain Injury Support Group
2 nd  Thursday, 6:30p – 7:30p
Tom Wilkinson 240-493-8472
Anne Arundel County Brain Injury Support Group
3rd Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Debbie Cottrill (410) 320-8948 

Brain Injury Support Group
1st Monday, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Candice Rebuck (410) 448-6303

Caregivers Support Group
4th Tuesday, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Gwen Alexander (410) 448-6311

Stroke Support Group
Meets monthly 10:00 a.m. – Noon
Brandy Breaux (410) 448-6821
Call for the monthly calendar
Online stroke support and information resources
The John “Jack” Godfrey Brain Injury Support Group
2nd Tuesday, 6:00p – 7:00p 
Dawn Moreland (301) 618-2364 
Brentrell Spencer (301) 618-2134
BIADC Support Group
3rd Wednesday, 5:30p – 7:30p
Gemma Rosas (NRH) (202)-877-1192
Joan Joyce (NRH) (202) 877-1420

2) What We are Reading This Week and Know You Will Find Enlightening and Important
The book we need NOW to avoid a social recession, Murthy’s prescient message is about the importance of human connection, the hidden impact of loneliness on our health, and the social power of community.

Humans are social creatures: In this simple and obvious fact lies both the problem and the solution to the current crisis of loneliness. In his groundbreaking book, the 19th surgeon general of the United States Dr. Vivek Murthy makes a case for loneliness as a public health concern: a root cause and contributor to many of the epidemics sweeping the world today from alcohol and drug addiction to violence to depression and anxiety. Loneliness, he argues, is affecting not only our health, but also how our children experience school, how we perform in the workplace, and the sense of division and polarization in our society.

But, at the center of our loneliness is our innate desire to connect. We have evolved to participate in community, to forge lasting bonds with others, to help one another, and to share life experiences. We are, simply, better together.

CLICK HERE for more on this book.

CLICK HERE to listen to a Podcast with Brene' Brown and her guest Dr. Vivek Murthy.
1) Quote We Are Contemplating...

  • “If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you recognize that your liberation and mine are bound up together, we can walk together.”

Have you ever clicked on the pictures posted at the end of every #5ThoughtsFridays? Try it. You might learn something fun!
Photo by Tatiana Byzova on Unsplash

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This blog is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement of treatments, individuals, or programs which appear herein. Any external links on the website are provided for the visitor’s convenience; once you click on any of these links you are leaving BIAMD's #5ThoughtsFriday blog post. BIAMD has no control over and is not responsible for the nature, content, and availability of those sites. 

  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.