A new support group in Whistler is trying to help people recover from concussions, no matter how long it takes or whether they are experiencing physical or psychological symptoms.
Whistler and many other places in B.C. are known for plentiful opportunities for outdoor activities but with that comes risks. Accidents on the ski hill can result in concussion, and the road to recovery can be long and filled with unexpected symptoms.
"Being in these environments and not understanding why I was getting these symptoms made me isolate myself a little bit, because I was afraid to go out and afraid to set off my symptoms," said Jana Kapp, who suffered symptoms from three concussions over the span of six years.
"[It] then led to some anxiety and depression."
Kapp, who is also a physiotherapist, will facilitate the new 12-week support group in Whistler, which starts Thursday.
'I wasn't alone'
Kapp suffered concussion symptoms for years before finding a pilot support group where she found not only treatment solutions, but also solidarity with other concussion patients.
"Finding those people kind of made me feel like I wasn't alone, and that there was reason for my symptoms," she said.
"We also had healthcare professionals throughout the community come in and speak to us and discuss what they could do to help us based on their experience and their scope of practice. That way, we were each able to share and encourage each other."
Kapp is now able to work full-time and ski a few times a week. Her recovery experience inspired her to facilitate her own support group in Whistler.
She urges people suffering from persistent concussion symptoms to not give up because brains can heal at different speeds.
"People can recover. They just need to be able to be their own advocate, look for the right treatments that are right for them."
Those interested in the support group can find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-877-892-2022.
To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: Whistler concussion support group offers recovery help.