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Senators Hassan, Capito, and Casey Recognize September 15 as National Concussion Awareness Day

Senator Hassan’s Years-Long Effort Spurred by Advocacy of Granite Stater Brooke Mills

WASHINGTON – Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Bob Casey (D-PA) are again recognizing this Friday, September 15th as National Concussion Awareness Day. Senator Hassan has spearheaded Concussion Awareness Day since her time as Governor of New Hampshire, following advocacy from 24-year-old Granite Stater Brooke Mills, who suffered a concussion in high school.

“A concussion can take a serious toll – both physical and emotional – on someone’s health, and it is clear that we need more awareness of the causes, effects, and treatments of traumatic brain injuries,” said Senator Hassan. “I am grateful to Granite Stater Brooke Mills who brought this issue to my attention while I was Governor, and I am glad to continue this push at the national level. Brooke Mills has done an incredible job of taking a difficult setback and turning it into a positive change, and I commend her for making concussion awareness a part of her platform as Miss New Hampshire.”

“Concussions adversely affect far too many individuals in West Virginia and across our country. Every year, millions are treated, hospitalized, and in some cases, experience long-term effects resulting from concussions,” Senator Capito said. “Enhancing concussion prevention and increasing awareness, in addition to proper diagnosis and management, are essential for athletes, coaches, parents, and others to play sports and work safely. I’m proud to join my colleagues on this resolution and I hope it amplifies the need for continued concussion prevention, safety, and treatment.”

“Women are twice as likely to incur a sports-related concussion than men and are at a higher risk of suffering prolonged symptoms. It is empowering to be a female leader alongside Senator Hassan to bring awareness to the need for more research in concussion management, especially for women,” said Brooke Mills. “Most people don’t realize the seriousness of a concussion, and how life-altering Post Concussion Syndrome can be. It was difficult not to get discouraged during my own prolonged concussion recovery. I had to quit dance classes due to my vertigo and my friends didn’t understand what I was going through. Concussion is an invisible injury. I looked fine, but I wasn’t myself at all. I was heartbroken when my concussion became a source of bullying. That’s one reason I created National Concussion Awareness Day. I also wanted to bring hope and a sense of support and understanding for those affected.” 


Granite Stater Brooke Mills -- who suffered a concussion as a freshman in high school – first had the idea for National Concussion Awareness Day, and following her advocacy, when Senator Hassan was Governor, she marked Concussion Awareness Day in New Hampshire in 2016. Then Senator Hassan brought this effort to the Senate, introducing the National Concussion Awareness Day starting in 2019.  Senator Hassan recognized Brooke for her advocacy efforts in 2019 as a Granite Stater of the Month, and also hosted a Facebook live with Brooke in 2020. Brooke, now age 24, is competing in the Miss America Pageant later this year as Miss New Hampshire.

The resolution that the lawmakers introduced recognizes September 15, 2023 as National Concussion Awareness Day, commends organizations that raise awareness about concussions, and encourages further research and prevention efforts.

Read the text of the resolution here or below:

Supporting the designation of September 15, 2023, as ‘‘National Concussion Awareness Day’’.

Whereas mild traumatic brain injury, otherwise known as a concussion, is an important health concern for children, teens, and adults;

Whereas, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—

(1) there are as many as 1,600,000 to 3,800,000 sports-related concussions annually;

(2) as many as 5,300,000 individuals live with the long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury;

(3) between 2010 and 2016, an estimated 2,000,000 children under age 18 visited an emergency department because of a traumatic brain injury sustained during sports- or recreation-related activities;

(4) each year an estimated 283,000 children seek care in emergency departments in the United States for a sports- or recreation-related traumatic brain injury, with traumatic brain injuries sustained in contact sports accounting for approximately 45 percent of those visits;

(5) research suggests that many children with a traumatic brain injury do not seek care in emergency departments or do not seek care at all resulting in a significant underestimate of prevalence; and

(6) approximately 15 percent of all high school students in the United States self-reported 1 or more sportsor recreation-related concussions within the preceding 12 months;

Whereas the seriousness of concussions should not be minimized in athletics, and return-to-play and return-to-learn protocols can help ensure recovery;

Whereas concussions can affect physical, mental, and social health, and a greater awareness and understanding of proper diagnosis and management of concussions is critical to improved outcomes; and

Whereas the Senate can raise awareness about concussions among the medical community and the public: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) supports the designation of September 15, 2023, as ‘‘National Concussion Awareness Day’’;

(2) recognizes that mild traumatic brain injury, otherwise known as a concussion, is an important health concern;

(3) commends the organizations and individuals that raise awareness about mild traumatic brain in jury;

(4) encourages Federal, State, and local policy makers to work together—

      (A) to raise awareness about the effects of concussions; and

      (B) to improve the understanding of proper diagnosis and management of concussions; and

(5) encourages further research and prevention efforts to ensure that fewer individuals experience the most adverse effects of mild traumatic brain injury.