Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) has received grant funds from Administration of Community Living (ACL) (previously HRSA) for over 20 years. These grants focus on enhancing statewide programs, education, training and resources regarding brain injuries. MRC has developed tools, trainings and compiled resources for improving general knowledge of brain injuries and supporting at-risk populations.
Our current project is Beyond Bridges: Traumatic Brain Injuries and Behavioral Health. (2021-2026)
The purpose of the Beyond Bridges project is to continue strengthening systems to best provide comprehensive, person-centered, and integrated care to individuals with co-occurring brain injury (BI) and behavioral health (BH) conditions through multi-cultural focused strategic initiatives implemented by our TBI State Advisory Board (known as the Brain Injury Council), integrated in our TBI State Plan, through Resource facilitation with our grantee partners and additional brain injury and behavioral health initiatives.
This page can be used as a resource for screening tools, information, training and more as we continue our efforts in the brain injury communities through these grants.
The materials and trainings created from these grants would not be possible without our dedicated partners. Our primary partners have and continue to include
- Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA)
- BAMSI (Brockton Area Multi-Services, Inc.)
- National Association of State head Injury Administrators (NASHIA)
- Department Public Health-Bureau of Substance Addiction Services
- Executive Office of Elder Affairs
- Brandeis University- INROADS
- Massachusetts Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment - Training & Technical Assistance (MA-SBIRT-TTA)
Training and Learning Opportunities
- Domestic Violence and Brain Injury part one
- Brain Injury Web Course This FREE, seven-module, self-paced web course curricula was designed to help Massachusetts build a trained brain injury work force statewide. The content is geared for all levels of community-based providers covering introduction to brain injury, mental health, screening and resources, alcohol and substance use, and employment supports for those with brain injury. This course and it’s content was updated and republished in January 2024.
- Brain Injury and Substance Use Forum (5-Modules)
- MRC Regional Communities of Practice
Screening Tools and Accommodations
Brain Injury and Behavioral Health
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, more than 73,000 individuals sustain traumatic brain injuries annually. Consistent with national trends, the majority are evaluated and treated at emergency departments. Traumatic Brain Injury survivors are at risk for developing post-injury neuropsychiatric disorders at rates that are higher than the general population, with major depressive disorder being the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder (nearly 50% of individuals with a TBI experience depression within the first year after their injury). Research informs us that 80% of individuals with co-occurring mental illness and SUD screen positive for a brain injury. To learn more about in the intersection of brain injury and behavioral health, check out our screening tools, Accommodations Workbook and linked resources and partners as listed above.
Brain Injury in Older Adults
Traumatic brain injury symptoms in elders can often be confused with other disorders such as dementia. Family members and others may believe that changes in a survivor are the natural result of the aging process instead of the traumatic brain injury. Dementia is also a risk factor for sustaining a traumatic brain injury. Individuals with dementia, depression, and Parkinson’s disease are at a greater risk of fall-related traumatic brain injuries.
Elders are more likely to have a chronic illness which can affect recovery from a traumatic brain injury. Because elders are at a higher risk of falls, it is especially important to take falls-prevention measures to avoid additional traumatic brain injuries.
Older adults are at a higher risk for sustaining a concussion from a fall due to medication interactions and side effects, balance issues, vision problems, and home tripping hazards. They are more likely to have lasting symptoms and may be slower to recover than younger people.
-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
For more information and supports for older adults visit
Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA)