A couple of months shifting from the University of Alberta Hospital and Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Richards came back home and discovered symptoms of his brain injury affecting his day-to-day routine.
“I couldn’t control my anger,” Richards explained. “That got me in lots of trouble.”
Richards adds, “I went through everything [from] depression [to] suicidal thoughts; everything.”
While Richards does have the support system of a loving girlfriend and family, a councillor and a psychiatrist, he says when first coming back to town with a brain injury, the lack of resources made he feel like he “came back to nothing.”
Enter the Fort St. John Brain Injury Support Group.
“That’s why I took the initiative to do all of this, because I don’t want other survivors to struggle the way I did,” Richards says of his support group – open to anybody who feels the need or desire to join.
This includes stroke victims, family members of survivors, and even those wanting to learn more or be a part of the brain injury community.
The group meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month at the Child Development Centre – located at 10417 106 Avenue, running 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Richards’ next goal is to create a Fort St. John Brain Injury Association – which has already gained the support of the Northern Brian Injury Association, located in Prince George.
“I just got fed up being sent everywhere for treatment and stuff. This is my home so why can’t it be here?” Richard concludes.