What is a Peer Mentor?
Peers- We provide our peer mentoring to those who are newly injured and those who are living in the community and simply want to connect. A peer is selected to ‘mentor’ an individual based upon his or her injury level, cause of injury/disorder, sex, age, and other considerations. The Chapter believes the more ‘alike’ a peer and the individual are the more successful they will be working together. Whether an individual wants to see how a peer transfers from a wheelchair to the car, or talk with the peer about a personal care issue, the peer is there to answer questions, confide in and provide useful techniques for adjusting to a new way of life.
Family- Peer Support is also available for family members, spouses, and caregivers. Often all the focus is on the newly injured and the family is forgotten. We have peers who are family members and understand that the injury is to the entire family, not just the person who has been injured. These individuals offer understanding, tips on how to manage all that is happening, discussions about relationship adjustments and suggestions for the transition back home.
We are like you. We are individuals and family members affected by a spinal cord injury or disorder. We are living successful lives despite the challenges we face living with a SCI/D. We:
Have been living with paralysis for 2+ years or are a family member of someone who has been living with paralysis
Are enjoying the life we live
Are good listeners
Maintain confidentiality and privacy
Remember our mentors and the ways they changed our lives
Enjoy “paying it forward” in appreciation of what was done for us
Provide resources on living with paralysis
Have completed the GBC and United Spinal Association Peer Training Program, completed HIPPA training, passed background checks and are, in most cases, certified Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital volunteers
How Can A Peer Mentor Help Me?
Whether you are newly injured or have been injured for some time or are a family member affected by a SCI/D, we understand what you are going through. We have faced similar challenges and found that a peer mentor made a difference in our lives. We offer:
Validation that what you are thinking is okay
Discussions on changes to your self image and how to adjust
Confidence in what you can do
How to advocate for yourself
Knowledge of resources that are available for housing, sports teams, employment, back to school, and more
Tips and examples on getting out and about
A realistic discussion about the future
Some of the topics that we have been trained to discuss are:
Dealing with the injury
Changes in self confidence and self image
Family and relationship adjustments
Driving and public transportation
Back to work and school
Conceiving and child birth
The transition home
For family members, balancing one’s own life, everyday demands and re-balancing relationships
How Will I Be Matched with a Mentor?
Matching a peer mentor and an individual is important. The Chapter believes the more ‘alike’ a peer and mentor are, the more successful they will be working together. A peer is selected to ‘mentor’ an individual based upon areas of similarity. Every effort is made to match similarities of:
Cause of injury
Similar hobbies, sport interests, children or employment
Whether the individual wants to see how a peer transfers from a wheelchair to the car, or talk with the peer about a personal care issue or relationships, the peer is there to answer questions, confide in and provide useful techniques for adjusting to a new way of life.
Contact us if you have more questions!
firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 617.952.5643