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Brain Injury Alliance Helps Inmates with a Potential History of Brain Injury


April 25, 2024

North Platte, Neb. - Resource facilitators from the Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska are working to positively impact inmates at the Lincoln County Detention Center.

Resource Facilitators, Shir Smith and MenDi McCuiston, reported that out of the nearly 50 inmates screened for a possible history of brain injury, 94% received a blow to the head or reported being strangled. After seeing the number of people that were not aware of the effects of a brain injury, Smith and McCuiston set out to make a difference for the detention center’s inmate population.

Starting March 31, 2023, they introduced Mindsource modules to those who were interested. The Mindsource modules are a curriculum that provides individuals that have screened positive for traumatic brain injury (TBI) with the tools and insight to address their symptoms. Of the 50 screened individuals, 10 were able to receive a certificate of completion.

After their success with Mindsource, Smith and McCuiston were able to implement a brain injury-specific Wise Mind curriculum. This Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) tool taught individuals how to use their “wise mind,” the middle ground between a mind driven by logic and one driven by emotion, to better manage their behavior. Smith and McCuiston aided seven individuals in completing the curriculum and receiving a certificate.

As Resource Facilitators, Smith and McCuiston are passionate about the work they do connecting the inmates who are ready to better themselves to tools, resources, and support that will help them succeed in their brain injury journey. The duo is not done with their journey in spreading awareness, but they already leave behind many positively impacted.

Smith and McCuiston shared the following comment they received from an inmate who completed the brain injury curriculums:

“Thank you, MenDi and Shir, for all the support you guys gave me with wise and emotional mind classes with brain injury. Now I understand how to deal with my brain injury trauma, and I understand how to deal with people with brain injury signs and symptoms. I now understand how to use these tools to navigate my life and use this coping skills to better my life and future.”

Smith and McCuiston were also able to implement a mentor program within the detention center to help those who have interest in further education. It gives those who have been touched by Smith and McCuiston’s help the opportunity to mentor others who share similar experiences. So far, they have had three enter the program, and two receive a certificate.

McCuiston stated, “Changing lives doesn’t happen overnight and not everyone is open to making changes or ready to make changes, but making a difference in one person’s life is enough.”


About the Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska

The Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska (BIA-NE) was founded in 2009 to create better futures for all Nebraskans through brain injury prevention, education, advocacy, and support.

Serving the brain injury population means securing and developing community-based services, providing support groups and access to pertinent information and medical resources, and service referrals. It also means educating professionals who work with children and adults with brain injury. 

These impactful services are provided by BIA-NE resource facilitators located throughout the state of Nebraska who are available to help individuals living with the effects of brain injury. To learn more about the BIA-NE resource facilitation program and its staff members, visit


For more information on the Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska and its impact on the brain injury community in Nebraska, contact Peggy Reisher, MSW, executive director, at or 402-890-0606.

Our Associations & Memberships

P.O. Box 22147
Lincoln, NE 68542
4024232463 (402) 423-2463
Toll Free (844) 423-2463

PO Box 22147, Lincoln, NE 68542