Jodi House and Coast Caregiver Resource Center Announce Collaboration

New Program to Provide Support for Caregivers of Brain Injury Survivors

In an effort to create an inclusive support program for survivors of brain injuries, their families, and their caregivers, Jodi House and the Coast Caregiver Resource Center (of the Cottage Health System) have announced a new collaboration: Together in Brain Injury Support. The new program will attempt to serve members of Santa Barbara and the surrounding counties suffering from brain injury and the subsequent physical, emotional, and social consequences.

According to its website, Jodi House “helps brain injury survivors reclaim their lives, and helps families and caregivers find solutions, resources, and support.” It was founded in 1994 by the parents of Jodi Wustman, a college student injured by a drunk driver. Jodi House’s “Clubhouse Day Program,” a source of pride for the nonprofit, features a unique member-based community for survivors of brain injury.

Whereas Jodi House focuses on building a support system for the survivors themselves, the Coast Caregiver Resource Center’s primary aim is to provide support for the survivors’ caregivers. Families that qualify are offered grant aid, informational training and retreats, referral and consultation, and temporary-replacement care. Most services are offered free of charge.

“We are excited to have formed this collaboration with Coast Caregiver Resource Center to enable Jodi House to impact the lives of more brain injury survivors faster,” said Carrie Bissell, the executive director of Jodi House, in a written statement. “Currently, there are approximately 5,000 brain injury survivors in Santa Barbara County, yet we are only reaching about 10 percent. On average, it takes eight years for survivors and their families to find Jodi House. This collaboration is allowing us to broaden our reach and help more brain injury survivors and their families.”

A central aspect of Together in Brain Injury Support effort is an educational series, offered for free and open to the public.

The first workshop, “Building Caregiver Resilience,” will be held on Monday, June 25, from 4:45-6 p.m. at Jodi House, 625 Chapala Street in Santa Barbara. This presentation will address processes and techniques for building resilience should a loved one suffer from a brain injury. Those interested in attending may RSVP to 962-3600 x15 or email

Another upcoming workshop, “Coping with Brain Injury Changes,” is scheduled for Monday, July 23, noon-1 p.m. at Jodi House.

A six-week evidence-based skill-building class for caregivers, “Taking Care of You: Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” will be held on Thursday, July 12, from 10:30 a.m.-noon. Preregistration is necessary. Call 962-3600 x14 for more information.

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