Barwon Stroke Center Opens for People With Stroke

The Stroke Association of Victoria (SAV) has opened the Barwon Support Centre in Geelong, Victoria, as part of SAV’s Life After Stroke Pathway, to provide people with stroke and their carers access to information and peer support services they need to participate in the community. This Centre is a feature of SAV’s strategy to establish new “stroke centres” in each health region, with integration to local health providers. A focus of SAV’s activities is to attract people older than 18 but younger than 65 with first-time stroke (“young strokes”) to use support services and participate in the community.

Data provided to Brain Injury Australia by the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry shows that, of the 21,340 strokes recorded by Australian hospitals between 2010-2014, 5,296 (24.8 per cent) were in adults aged less than 65. The rates of stroke in young people are increasing largely due to poor control of lifestyle factors, such as unhealthy diets high in sugar and processed foods, smoking, alcohol intake, drug use and reduced levels of physical activity.

Brain Injury Australia’s position paper on Young Stroke, available here, identifies young strokes:

  • Are more likely to have unmet health needs such as falls, pain, and vision disabilities
  • Take longer to arrive at hospital after the onset of their symptoms
  • Are less likely to be referred to rehabilitation
  • Are more likely to be misdiagnosed

The Barwon Support Centre, as a Stroke Support Centre within SAV’s Life After Stroke Pathway, supports the long-term recovery of people with stroke through non-clinical, community-based support and self-led rehabilitation. It runs programs and activities that allow people with stroke to work at their own level of ability or to join new activities. Group program sessions run on a rotating schedule. The main aims are improved confidence, mobility, living skills, access to local services, and community participation.

To learn more about the Barwon Support Centre, or to obtain a copy of SAV’s monthly activities, email Carly Stephens at

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