Head-injury service starts work in Sth Canty

19:34, Nov 04 2012
insight timaru
NEW BRANCH: Speech language therapist Katie Hodge, from left, occupational therapist Tania Walsh, physio Sue Newman and psychologist David Tie hosted a launch party on Friday at Community House, Insight's new Timaru premise.

A growing demand for head injury rehabilitation services in South Canterbury has seen the arrival of Insight to Timaru.

Insight, an organisation made up of occupational and speech therapists, psychologists, physiotherapists, a dietitian, registered nurse and social worker, has opened a new office at Timaru's Community House.

Insight was established in Christchurch in 2003 to assist people with mild to serious brain injuries.

Speech language therapist Katie Hodge said demand on the service had grown over the years, particularly in South Canterbury where staff are seeing a growing trend in farm-related injuries.

Assaults and accidents relating to cars, motorbikes, sports and horse riding were also a common trend in some areas.

Insight has 30 South Canterbury clients on its books, including people from Timaru, Fairlie, Twizel and Waimate.


A team of specialists also services Christchurch and North Canterbury.

Mrs Hodge said Insight's focus is to help people with traumatic brain injuries.

It is also dedicated to servicing remote and rural areas because there was a concern that people were discharged from hospital and not given further care, she said.

Therapists aim to help each client regain the skills they had before they were injured, while also giving them the skills they need for their recovery.

Clients are referred to the service through their GPs, district health board and ACC, being the main one.

She said people were becoming more aware of brain injuries and their long-term effects.

"There's often [been] that attitude ‘she'll be right', or ‘they will get better'."

However, she said if people "aren't sharp", cannot concentrate and have lost their high level of skills, "things can go wrong".

She said people who needed to multitask on a daily basis were particularly vulnerable.

"If you can't perform well, [you can] become depressed, social relationships break down and [can be] rude to people," Mrs Hodge said.

The Timaru Herald