Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Organization Spotlight: Second Chance of NW Florida

Panama City, Florida- A few months ago I had my first chance to visit a wonderful facility called Second Chance of Northwest Florida, Inc. Second Chance is a facility that is designed to help brain injury survivors and their families achieve an improved quality of life. I found a unique facility in which brain injury survivors are given a large degree of autonomy to actually take control of the facility and make it their own. Brain injury survivors who have learned to live successfully with their injury are able to provide positive mentors for those with new brain injuries who begin attending Second Chance.

I recently had a chance to speak with the President of Second Chance of Northwest Florida, Inc., Sherl Morden, who told me, "Second Chance serves adults with brain injuries. At the Second Chance Day Program we work together to keep Hope as a reason to go on, confidence for those who doubt, strength when you feel weak and support for survivors and their families as they learn to adjust to a new way of life and success is knowing you have done the best you can to help others in their struggle."

Second Chance does a tremendous job of increasing independence for brain injury survivors in Northwest Florida while helping to support their families and educate the local community about the effects of brain injury. Second Chance is a unique brain injury rehabilitation facility in that it receive no state or federal funding and is supported 100% by the local community. 

It only seemed right that the first "Organization Spotlight" on disabilityinsight.com would be Second Chance of Northwest Florida, Inc. during March: Brain Injury Awareness Month. To learn more about Second Chance check out their website at http://secondchancenwfl.com/ and continue reading. 

Second Chance of Northwest Florida, Inc.,located in Panama City Florida is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation established in 1992 to serve the needs of adults living with traumatic (TBI)or acquired (ABI) brain injuries and their families.
Our Mission is to restore hope and dignity and affect positively the quality of life for brain injury survivors and their families, minimizing the effects and enabling each to function at the highest level possible, both in the community and in their personal life.

About Us 
Second Chance of Northwest Florida, Inc. was founded in 1989 by the late Psychologist Clell Warriner. Through his practice, Dr. Warriner recognized the need to create a safe haven where brain injury survivors could socialize and relearn skills lost as a result of injuries. Services are available to residents of Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington counties in the Florida panhandle.
Since inception, hundreds of brain injury survivors have benefited from participation in cognitive training, educational programs (including social and life skills development, support groups, computer training, the arts, volunteerism, outings, recreational, and referral services. These specialized services expand the continuum of care following medical
rehabilitation and encourages community integration.
Members of Second Chance are blessed to be alive after narrowly surviving traumatic brain injuries (resulting from a severe blow to the head) or acquired brain injuries (stroke, aneurysm, disease, illness, etc). Now that they have survived against great odds, their greatest challenge is learning how to live life again with permanent disability.
Retraining and relearning requires time, consistency, expertise, and a structured, secure environment. Social Security Disability or Social Security Income (SSI) is the only source of income for many brain injury survivors.

Day Training Program 
The Second Chance Day Training Program provides post rehabilitation care for adult brain injury survivors in a group setting. The goal of the program is to enable participants to relearn skills and activities lost as a result of their injuries and to learn to adapt to their disability in a safe and positive environment. Each participant strives toward greater independence, a renewed purpose in life, and even  engage in productive paid or volunteer
work if they choose.
The program operates on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8AM-2PM. The cost of the program is $50/month. Members participate in a variety of challenging and rewarding activities to reach their goals. Activities include cognitive
skills (memory and concentration), occupational, physical, and speech therapy, socialization and prevocational skills development, daily living skills (personal care, basic housekeeping, meal planning, preparation,
shopping, and money management), computer, arts, music, nutrition, health and cooking classes, volunteerism, recreation, and community reintegration activities.
Family Support Services 
The first Tuesday night of each month at 6PM Second Chance hosts a Family and Friends Covered Dish Dinner and Support Group at 222 East Beach Drive (between PCMI and Tarpon Dock Seafood). This is a wonderful time for survivors and caregivers to come together to support each other and share experiences. 

Advocacy and Referral Services 
If you are a caregiver or survivor in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, or Washington county feel free to contact us and we will help direct you to the appropriate resource.
Community Education and Prevention 
There are over 210,000 Floridians living with TBI related disabilities and that number is expected to increase to 260,000 by 2020. Approximately 1,881 Bay County residents live with TBI related disabilities. Brain injury is often referred to as the "Silent Epidemic" and can cause a number of challenges to the recipient including loss of communication skills, self awareness, social skills, increased behavioral issues, loss of job, driving privileges, and loss of place in the family circle.
It is the goal of Second Chance to educate the community, all ages, about brain injury to help prevent future injuries from occurring. Second Chance has spoken to local civic groups, senior centers, nursing homes, businesses and schools. If you are interested in learning about brain injury and how to prevent it, please contact us <
http://secondchancenwfl.com/page5.html> !
Also, we do not receive any state or federal funding. We are supported 100% by the local community.  
Brittany Johnson, MSW
Second Chance of Northwest Florida, Inc.

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