SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – September 17 is observed every year as National Concussion Awareness Day.

Back in 2016, a woman named Brooke Mills created the day of education and awareness, after suffering from a concussion herself as a freshman in high school. According to the Utah Department of Health, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in Utah and an average of 14 students suffer from a concussion each week at school. Millions more across the country are living with the impacts and long-term effects of concussions and traumatic brain injuries every day.

Lauralea Banks Edwards, a concussion and trauma survivor joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. for an IN FOCUS discussion. She shared her personal experience with getting a concussion, the emotional side effects in addition to the cognitive, some of the best coping mechanisms, how the topic of suicide plays a role in the conversation about concussions and TBIs, and what someone should look for when it comes to concussions to avoid pushing their boundaries.

Jamie MoCrazy, an X Games athlete and coma survivor talked about how her life was forever changed by the traumatic brain injury she experienced, the common misconceptions about concussions, how concussions are invisible injuries that can cause real deficits, some of the ways that those deficits can be healed, her experience with climbing an alternative peak after her brain injury, and the details of her MoCrazy Miracles event taking place on October 2 and October 3.

Ashlee Byrge, coach of the Utah Warriors High School Boys Rugby Team discussed why concussions should be taken seriously in youth sports, how parents can help when it comes to concussions, whether you have to get knocked unconscious to have a concussion, how rugby players are taught to prevent concussions, and the types of protocols that are taken in rugby when someone has a concussion.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Banks Edwards, MoCrazy, and Byrge, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.