News

Free program brings new life after brain injury

Joyce Mullemeister and her daughter Charmaine Mullemeister, who suffers from damage to her frontal lobe after an accident.
Joyce Mullemeister and her daughter Charmaine Mullemeister, who suffers from damage to her frontal lobe after an accident. Brenda Strong

ONE life-changing event can take away a person's ability to work, drive a car and even enjoy the most common activities.

It is estimated one in every 45 Australians experience a brain injury each year.

Gladstone Community Health is partnering with the Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Service to provide a free six-week Skills to Enable People and Communities (STEPS) Program.

STEPS Program co-ordinator Ben Turner said more than 800 participants had completed the six-week program at about 100 sites throughout Queensland.

"The program provides an excellent opportunity to develop strategies and skills to continue to achieve their goals after such a life-changing event," Mr Turner said.

Charmaine Mullemeister, 25, knows all too well the impacts of a life-threatening brain injury.

On her 18th birthday, her family was rocked by the news she was in a single-vehicle car accident. At the time, she was meant to begin study at a Brisbane university in the following months.

These plans dramatically changed when she had to spend nine months in Brisbane recovering from the damage to her frontal lobe.

Seven years on and she continues to battle the side effects, impacting her memory, concentration, cognition, hearing and sight.

She is surrounded by a positive support network from her family, including mum Joyce Mullemeister.

Last year Charmaine attended the STEPS program in Gladstone.

"A lot of people don't know where to go. It's not what you know, it's who you know. You get to meet people who can help you at the program," Charmaine said.

She enjoyed the social aspect of it, meeting people who had had similar experiences to her.

"It's amazing, the different behaviours and side effects."

Joyce said, "During the aftermath lots of people get stressed and depressed and they can't continue working. They need to find a way to get their confidence back."

Now, Charmaine attends Community Solutions, a disability employment service.

"She's trying to find a new job, but it's a bit tricky," Joyce said.

This year's STEPS Skills Program begins on Thursday, May 2, at the Gladstone Community Health Centre in Flinders St.

Recovery involves treating whole person, not just the brain

NEUROCAPABILITY managing director Linda Ray is a firm advocate for brain injury support groups.

She said the recovery of these types of injuries required treating the whole person, not just the brain.

"These support groups are really valuable for local communities and should be supported," Ms Ray said.

Previously working with a woman who was recovering from a stroke, Ms Ray said it had been important to find creative ways to rebuild her memory.

"They need to develop new strategies to function and find how to use their brain more effectively," she said.

"There's still hope for people with brain injuries. We can literally change how the brain works."

Ms Ray will be visiting Gladstone in May for the Women in Industry Conference.

Topics:  brain injury employment gladstone steps



How to do Eat Street the right way

EVERYTHING you need to know to get the most out of your Eat Street experience and to avoid a food coma when you’re only one stall deep.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

TriCare story has union concerned for patients

TriCare Bundaberg Aged Care Residence.

Union calls for more aged care staff

Truscott calls for staffing ratios at aged care facilities

Dr Jane Truscott.

"We owe it to our older citizens to look after them”

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!