Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona Blog

In-Person Prescott Survivor & Caregiver Support Group Returns

It’s often said that caregivers are the unsung heroes of the brain injury community as they help survivors recover and live their best possible lives. But who cares for the caregivers?

In Prescott, AZ, it’s Mary Novar.

Beginning Wednesday, May 18, and continuing the third Wednesday of every month thereafter, Mary will be leading the Prescott/Quad Cities Brain Injury Survivor and Family Support Group, funded by the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona.

The group will meet in person for the first time since 2020, and that’s a game changer for Mary.

“Because of COVID, it’s been two years since we could be in the same room; that isolation only added a layer of grief,” she says. “It’s much different than seeing each other on Zoom or meeting outside but staying six feet apart. It’s important to have that human contact; there’s no substitute for that kind of interaction.”

She has conducted similar groups for caregivers of brain injury survivors as well as individuals struggling with limited body motions and aphasia for more than 30 years at places like the Alzheimer’s Foundation and Mountain Valley Rehab Center and understands the feelings and emotions caregivers are often reluctant to express.

“I act as a sounding board and help put them in a new frame mind, but they are the ones who come up with solutions,” she shares.

From Mary’s perspective, it’s essential for overwhelmed caregivers to take care of themselves to be more efficient in their role. “This goes beyond a pat on the back and telling people to get plenty of rest,” she insists. “It’s about expressing feelings, like sadness, frustration, anger, and guilt about being angry.”

Caregivers are welcome to invite other brain injury survivors and their loved ones to the group, as Mary wants everyone in the brain injury community to feel welcomed. “This is an honest, open forum for all involved.”

Carrie Collins-Fadell, CEO of the Brain Injury Alliance, believes that the personal connection found in these support groups is particularly important since COVID was so hard on everyone, especially those with invisible disabilities like brain injuries. “Mary has a unique way of bringing people together and finding solutions,” Carrie praises. “I encourage any caregiver to learn from her as well as other caregivers. It’s all about providing maximum support at every level.”

The Prescott/Quad Cities Brain Injury Survivor and Family Support Group is free for all participants, but attendees must be 18+ and registration is required.

For more information about this group or to find out about additional support groups offered by the Brain Injury Alliance, contact them at (888) 500-9165 or or visit the Support Groups List


The Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona (BIAAZ) is the only statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of adults and children with all types of brain injuries through prevention, advocacy, awareness and education. BIAAZ also houses the Arizona Brain Health Resource Center, a collection of educational information and neuro-specific resources for brain injury survivors, caregivers, family members and professionals.

What began in 1983 as a grassroots effort has grown into a strong statewide presence, providing valuable life-long resources and community support for individuals with all types of brain trauma at no charge.

The Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona:

  • Works with Congressional Brain Injury Task Force
  • Houses Arizona Brain Health Resource Center
  • Hosts Statewide Opioid Use Disorder & Cognitive Impairment Workgroup
  • Has Statewide Opioid Use Disorder & Cognitive Impairment Response team with peer support, training, and family wraparound services
  • Facilitates Brain Health Advisory Council
  • Manages statewide Neuro Info-Line: 888-500-9165

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