1st Edition

Life and Suicide Following Brain Injury A Personal and Professional Account

By Alyson Norman Copyright 2020
    162 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    162 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Life and Suicide Following Brain Injury tells the story of Tom, a 43 year-old man who acquired a brain injury from a road traffic accident at the age of 22. Tom survived but went on to take his own life 20 years later. As a vulnerable adult with mental health issues and long-term difficulties with substance misuse, this book tells Tom's story from his early childhood through to his death.

    In telling Tom's story, the author- a researcher in the brain injury field and Tom's sister- identifies the multiple suicide risk factors as well as the lack of understanding and inadequate service provision for people with complex needs following TBI. His story serves as a harrowing example of what can go wrong when timely intervention and support is not forthcoming, identifying a multitude of risk factors and possible points of intervention to improve care in the future.

    This book provides insight to professionals and academics across health and social care in the risks of suicide associated with TBI. It also provides support for those who have experienced the grief of losing a survivor to suicide, or those struggling to support a survivor who is suicidal.


    Chapter 1: An introduction to traumatic brain injury and suicidality

    Chapter 2: Growing up with a brain injury

    Chapter 3: Reflections on a life-changing accident

    Chapter 4: Post-Injury Rehabilitation and Discharge

    Chapter 5: The long-term impact of brain Injury

    Chapter 6: A personal account of Suicide following brain injury

    Chapter 7: the impact of suicide following traumatic brain injury

    Chapter 8: Final reflection on suicidality after brain injury



    Alyson Norman, PhD, is a researcher in clinical psychology at the University of Plymouth's School of Psychology. Alyson has over 10 years experience of research in brain injuries and has personal experience as a family survivor of brain injury.

    "This is a moving tribute to a brother's struggle with TBI; a harrowing account of the inadequacies of the service systems to provide the needed support; told through the eyes of a loving sister who is also a psychologist. It makes the book unique." - Professor Grahame Simpson, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Research Group, Ingham Institute, Australia.

    "This is a sad story and one that should never have needed to be told. I applaud the author for showing real bravery and writing an honest and frank account of the events which ultimately lead to tragedy." - Hilary Dicks, Former CEO of Headway Somerset, UK.

    "This book is essential for those in contact with people with brain injuries to help them develop insight into the complexity of this hidden disability. While not for the faint hearted, family members may find this book helpful to make sense of their own story, and trauma and loss they have experienced following brain injury." - Charlotte Whiffin, Senior Lecturer, Debry University, UK.

    "This book is a truly candid portrayal of life after brain injury, narrated with both personal and professional accounts. Highlighted is the stark reality and consequences individuals and their relatives face when services are not integrated and responsive." - Freya Suffield, Hospital Liaison Officer.

    "This book is an important addition to the range of ABI literature. It offers a unique rounded perspective - combining the immediate personal story of one man with ABI with the wider context of his family story alongside a professional analysis and perspective. It will be a vital source for families and professionals alike." - Liz Simmons, CEO Headway Somerset, UK.