By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
BELMONT — Brooke Mills was reaching for a ball just as a boy kicked at it during a game in a physical education class three years ago.
His foot landed on her head, knocking Mills out and giving her a concussion.
Mills, 17, who is Miss Weirs Beach, is now on a mission to raise awareness about the dangers of concussion and the need for better diagnosis and treatment for this injury.
On Tuesday, free concussion screenings and a discussion about the injury will be given in Belmont, and Mills is encouraging people to attend.
Scott Krauchunas, an optometrist, will hold the initial screenings from 6 to 7 p.m. at InFocus Eyecare, 320 Daniel Webster Highway, Belmont, followed by a discussion about concussions and a question-and-answer period. The screenings will look for altered eye movements associated with concussion.
Mills said she still suffers from concussion symptoms, including headaches, memory loss and sensitivity to light. She graduated from Concord High School last year. She raises awareness about concussion through her blog _ lessentheimpact.org _ and gives speeches on the topic.
Other symptoms of concussion include depression and sensitivity to movement.
"Nine out of 10 people can't correctly define a concussion," she said. "I try to speak to parents, so they can recognize concussion in themselves or in their children.
"I also tell children it's an invisible injury and not to bully others who may have had concussions. Teens who suffer concussion are three times more likely to suffer depression."
Krauchunas, who also holds a doctorate in psychology, said there are therapies that can assist people who have suffered concussions. It's also important that people stay away from contact sports during recuperation.
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