Monday, July 23, 2012

Sherl Morden: Advocate for People with Brain Injuries

2012 has been a banner year for Sherl Morden, President of Second Chance of NW Florida. She devotes much of her life to helping individuals with brain injuries achieve independence and a better life. Last month, Sherl was honored for her efforts by the Brain Injury Association of Florida. Sherl was the recipient of The Valiant Heart Award, which is is given annually to an individual who "has shown strength, courage, and leadership-not just when confronting their own personal challenges as a survivor, family member or caregiver-it is also when in reaching out to others they offer a rare compassion."

Earlier this year, Sherl was selected as the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Public Citizen of the Year for her work helping people with brain injuries. The following video explains more about her award from NASW...

Sherl Morden has received these awards due to her tremendous support of people with brain injuries as President of Second Chance of NW Florida.

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.

Second Chance's 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 Second Chance

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 Second Chance 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 <> !

Also, Second Chance does not receive any state or federal funding. We are supported 100% by the local community.

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