What is ThinkFirst?

Everyday activities can turn deadly if safe choices are not made. A fall off a bicycle can result in brain injury. A child carelessly crossing the street can be severely injured or killed. Participating in sports activities without using the appropriate gear can result in paralysis. Through education, we can prevent many of these tragedies from occurring.

Each year an estimated 500,000 persons in the United States sustain brain and spinal cord injuries. The most frequent causes of these injuries are motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports and recreation (especially diving), and violence. Teens and young adults are at high risk for these devastating injuries, the majority of which are preventable.

ThinkFirst is dedicated to reducing injuries in children, teens, and young adults, our most vulnerable populations.

Through research-based educational programming and Voices for Injury Prevention (VIP) speakers, ThinkFirst provides the knowledge and skills for children and teens to make safe decisions. Our programs are designed to reinforce the injury prevention message at crucial intervals to encourage young people to think first before engaging in risky behavior.

VIPs are speakers who have sustained a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury. VIPs share their personal experiences through ThinkFirst programs. They encourage safe behavior in the hope that they may prevent someone else from sustaining a life-altering injury. VIPs change and improve lives through convincing testimony that may lead students to wear helmets, buckle safety belts, or say “NO” to alcohol and drug use.

We have a great program to help you help your students think through their role in injury prevention.

ThinkFirst for Teens

Sponsored by Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital, ThinkFirst for Teens is designed to educate high school and college students through a powerful message that urges teens to “use your mind to protect your body”. ThinkFirst discusses in depth the causes and effects of brain and spinal cord injury using these components:

  • A lesson on the brain and spinal cord and injury prevention
  • An upbeat, age-appropriate video
  • Personal testimony from Voices for Injury
  • Prevention speakers
  • Group discussion on safe bystander behavior

Why partner with your ThinkFirst chapter?

Empower students to make safe choices by challenging them to ThinkFirst!

ThinkFirst helps teachers meet educational objectives by addressing objectives outlined for various disciplines – science, social studies, health, and physical education.

ThinkFirst is a risk-management tool to:

  • Reduce student injuries
  • Increase educator and employee knowledge of potential hazards
  • Improve safety policies and procedures to implement injury reduction strategies

ThinkFirst is recognized by:

  • The World Conference for Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion
  • The Journal of Neurosurgery
  • The Journal of Emergency Nursing
  • Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation
  • Paralyzed Veterans of America

This program is available as a presentation to classrooms, student leadership organizations, civic groups, or other community organizations.

To arrange a presentation for your class or group, please contact:

Danielle Fitzmorris, CTRS
Supervisor of Recreational Therapy
Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital
701 Grove Road
Greenville, SC 29605
(864) 455-7711