RICV’s Heads UP! Traumatic Brain Injury Program

Resources for Independence Central Valley’s Heads UP! program provides services and support to individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) including specific screening services, and specialized peer support groups for individuals with TBI, their family members and caregivers.                                       

Anyone experiencing TBI symptoms can benefit from RICV’s Heads UP! TBI program. 

RICV’s Heads UP! program provides the following services:

  • Online Brain Injury Screening/Support System (OBISSS). OBISSS is an online screening system used to determine a potential exposure to brain injury in someone’s lifetime and identifies any associated problems present. 
  • Community Reintegration
  • Supported Living Services
  • Assistive Technology Assistance
  • Peer Support Groups
  • Transportation

RICV’s Heads UP! Program offers referrals for:

  • Housing
  • Social Security Admin. Assistance
  • Veterans Administration Assistance
  • Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Mental Health Care
  • Health Care
  • County Services
  • Dept. of Rehabilitation (DOR) Assistance
  • Legal Assistance
  • Respite

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a sudden, external, physical assault damages the brain. It is one of the most common causes of    disability and death in adults.

TBI is a broad term describing a vast array of injuries that happen to the brain. The damage can be focal (confined to one area of the brain) or    diffused (meaning it happens in more than one area of the brain). 

The severity of a brain injury can range from a mild concussion to a severe injury resulting in a coma or even death. 

Some brain injuries are mild, with symptoms disappearing over time with proper attention. Others are more severe and may result in permanent disability. The long-term or permanent results of brain injury may need post-injury and possibly lifelong rehabilitation. 

A person who receives a blow to the head or other injury causing a TBI should seek medical attention, even if none of the symptoms listed are   present. Sometimes symptoms do not appear until well after the injury.

TBI Symptoms

A person with a MILD TBI may experience any of the following:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Tiredness or sleepiness
  • A bad taste in the mouth
  • A change in sleep habits
  • Behavior or mood changes
  • Trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Nausea or vomiting

 A person with a MODERATE or SEVERE TBI may also experience any of the following:

  • Loss of vision in one or both eyes.
  • Repeated vomiting or constant nausea.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Convulsions or seizures.
  • An inability to wake from sleep.
  • Numbness/tingling in arms or legs.
  • Uncoordinated or “clumsy.”
  • Increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation.
  • Loss of consciousness lasting a few minutes to hours.


TBI Facts:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is usually caused by a blow or other traumatic injury to the head or body. The degree of damage can depend on several factors, including the nature of the injury and the force of impact. 
  • TBI can last for years depending on the severity of the damage to the brain.                        
  • Symptoms may not appear for weeks after the injury.
  • Each year, about 1.7 million people obtain a TBI, and approximately 5.3 million Americans are living with a TBI.
  • TBI disables six times more people each year than spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and breast cancer combined.
  • Survivors of a moderate or severe TBI may face a difficult road to recovery requiring services such as physical therapy and mental health treatment for months or years to return to pre-injury function.
  • Males are nearly twice as likely to sustain a TBI as females.
  • Causes by percentage: 28% falls, 20% motor vehicle accidents, 19% struck by objects or against objects, 11% violence. 
  • According to the CDC, there were over 64,000 TBI-related deaths in the United States in 2020. That’s about 176 TBI-related deaths every day. 

Reducing TBI risk:

Install handrails in the bathroom.

  • Use a non-slip mat in the bathtub or shower.
  • Secure or remove any area rugs which can cause a tripping hazard.
  • Don’t let children plan on balconies or on fire escapes.
  • Improve lighting in the home, especially around stairs.
  • Keep stairs & floors clear of clutter.
  • Get regular vision checkups.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Use playground with shock-absorbing materials on the ground.
  • Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a vehicle.
  • Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Wear a helmet or appropriate headgear when riding anything or playing a contact sport.

Need more information? E-Mail: headsup@ricv.org 


TBI Support Group

Second Thursday at 12:00 PM & Fourth Monday of each month at 4:00 PM.

RICV’s TBI Support Groups are designed to assist individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in connecting with others to share experiences in a safe and supportive virtual environment.


TBI Caregiver Support Group

Third Monday of each month at 4:00 p.m., starting March 20th     

RICV’s specialized TBI Support Groups for Caregivers are offered in a nurturing virtual environment for the caregivers, family members, and friends of an individual with a TBI. 

 RICV’s specialized TBI Support Groups provide a useful system in resolving issues, finding help, and creating and expanding social networks. TBI Support Groups offer a promising intervention to support individuals with a TBI, and their families and caregivers.                                                                                                    

For the Zoom link or more information on RICV’s TBI Support Groups or the Heads UP! TBI Program, email: headsup@ricv.org