An important research project aimed at reaching a Consensus on the priorities and solutions needed to best serve people experiencing the intersections of brain injury, mental health, and addictions in British Columbia.

Second Event: June 22, 2023









We are embarking on three years of research (2022-2025) that will be guided by yearly B.C. Consensus Building Days

To act on recommendations of the BC Heads Together Think Tanks, a joint summit of multiple key stakeholders’ perspectives and research evidence, we are undertaking a multi-year project to gather data and knowledge for the purpose of developing a Consensus Statement on Research and Community Priorities, which could include best practices in serving individuals with a brain injury and concurrent mental health conditions and substance use/addiction challenges.

This project also builds on Dr. Julia Schmidt’s Convene Grant (currently underway) which aims to understand priorities for quality of life after brain injury. Preliminary findings from Dr. Schmidt’s grant suggest that key barriers in quality of life relate to the intersections of mental health, addiction, and brain injury.

Year One: Exploring Brain Injury, Mental Health, & Addictions with a closer focus on Overdose Survival

 (October 14, 2022): Click here to view the visual facilitator’s drawings and slides from our keynote speaker, Dr. Elizabeth Plant.

Download our report: BC Consensus Day Year 1 Report April 30 2023

Year One: Dr. Elizabeth Plant

  Toxic Brain Injury: A Hidden Epidemic Within the Drug Toxicity Crisis


OUR purpose

We are committed to gather, in a good faith effort, the perspectives, ideas, and values of healthcare providers, community stakeholders, and individuals/families including Indigenous groups and marginalized minorities with lived experience of the intersections of brain injury, mental health, and addictions, to reach a Consensus on the priorities and solutions needed to best serve people experiencing the intersections of brain injury, mental health, and addictions in British Columbia.


Dr. Mauricio Garcia-Barrera

Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychology, UVIC

Dr. Erica Woodin

Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychology, UVIC

Dr. Julia Schmidt

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

The BC Consensus Building Days will bring together stakeholders including researchers, community leaders, policymakers, and individuals with lived experience to learn from the ongoing research and to engage in round-table discussions and voting in real time to reach a Consensus in BC on
the intersections of Brain Injury, Mental Health and Additions.

To improve the quality of life and health outcomes for people living with brain injury, mental health, and substance use/addictions .

We commit to individuals with the experience of brain injury to share the power in making decisions and forming policy regarding research and service delivery that affect them.

gathering many perspectives


All voices are heard


A focus on intersectionality


Meaningful changes throughout BC

What is a Consensus Statement?

A consensus statement is an expert opinion, developed by researchers and key stakeholders, in an evidence-based manner for the purpose of advancing the understanding of an issue. As an example, click below to review the Consensus Statement on Concussion In Sport. 

Spread the word

We’ve created a series of infographics that you can download and use on social media to help to bring awareness on the intersections of brain injury, mental health, and addictions.


Immensely informative. Hearing directly from those who have experienced brain injury provides insight that cannot be achieve in the theoretical worlds. Learning the details of the struggles on the road to victory is very eye-opening. I find it especially uplifting to know what the speakers have accomplished in spite of the challenges that they faced.”

What you can expect?

This project responds to a pressing need to develop a Consensus Statement on the research and community priorities at the intersection of brain injury, mental health, and addiction.

Supported by expertise through research, knowledge exchange, and lived experience.
Round table discussions guided by an external facilitator
Voting on key priorities addressing the intersections

Canada wide, the incidence and prevalence of brain injury surpasses that of HIV/Aids, spinal cord injury, breast cancer and multiple sclerosis combined.

BrainTrust Canada. (n.d.). Brain injury information.

For every one NHL player who suffers a concussion in sport, 5,500 Canadian women, sustain the same injury from domestic violence.

Van Donkelaar, P. & Mason, K. (2017, July 6). TEDx Kelowna: Ahead of the game.

Lack of services and supports attribute to:






Substance Use


Mental Health Issues

The unintended consequences of brain injury cost our country billions in emergency and health care services. If we do not include brain injury in every conversation we will never have a 100% solution to mitigating these social issues.

GET INFORMED / From the Blog

Learn about mental health, addiction & brain injury – and learn about our previous Heads Together Think Tank events that led to this Consensus building project.

Vote to make your voice heard

Vote to make your voice heard

Canadian citizens of voting age have the right and responsibility to vote. For those living with a disability, visit Brainstreams to learn about Accessible Voting. We want to prepare you to speak with your local candidate about brain injury and its overlap...

Reinforcing Communities

Reinforcing Communities

Care should be focused on needs, not on diagnosis, as diagnostic-focused care perpetuates gaps and silos In this final event, Dr John Higenbottam, Faculty Emeritus, Douglas College, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UBC, and Editor in Chief, Canadian...

Research and Prevention

Research and Prevention

For every one NHL player who suffers a concussion in sport, more than 5,500 Canadian women sustain the same injury from domestic violence. The Research and Prevention session featured reports from three different researchers. It began with an overview of the national...


We gratefully acknowledge our partners in getting this work done.

Download the report on the proceedings from the Heads Together Think Tank or get the infographic, with a summation and a call to action.