Founded in 2019 by stroke survivor Debra Meyerson and her husband Steve Zuckerman, Stroke Onward, a non-profit initiative of the Social Good Fund, works to provide stroke survivors, care partners, and healthcare professionals with resources to help navigate the emotional journey to rebuild identities and rewarding lives.
There are seven million stroke survivors in the United States and each year 650,000 people in the U.S. survive a stroke. In post-stroke recovery, the focus is primarily and importantly on rehabilitation, on recovering speech and physical capabilities. However, survivors and families face an equally important emotional recovery journey for which few resources and little support exist. Many stroke recovery guides simply refer to depression and anxiety as conditions that might result without providing any resources to guide the adjustment process. Mental health professionals skilled in stroke recovery and aphasia can be difficult to find or afford. This often leaves many survivors and families to navigate the emotional journey on their own.
Stroke Onward was founded to address and support the often overlooked need to focus on the emotional journey in recovery, and specifically the challenge to rebuild identities in the face of dramatic life changes. For too many survivors, losing capabilities and valued aspects of their lives leads them to lose their sense of self and they need help rebuilding their identities. Stroke Onward impacts this by focusing on three key areas: raising awareness, developing and curating resources, and changing the healthcare system.