What is a Peer Mentor
A peer is selected to ‘mentor’ a newly injured individual based upon his or her injury level, cause of injury, sex, age, and other considerations. The Chapter believes the more ‘alike’ a peer and the newly injured are the more successful they will be working together. Whether the newly injured 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.
Peer Support is also available for family members and friends. 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.We are living successful lives despite the challenges we face living with a spinal cord injury. We:
- Have been living with paralysis for over 2-3 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 they 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 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 spinal cord injury, 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
- Managing PCA’s
- Driving and public transportation
- Back to work and school
- Home modifications
- Adaptive sports
- Conceiving and child birth
- The transition home
- For family members, balancing life’s own life, everyday demands and re-balancing relationships
How Will I Be Matched with a Peer?
Matching a peer and a mentor 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:
- Injury level
- Cause of injury
- Similar hobbies, sport interests, children or employment
Whether the newly injured 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 to be Matched with a Mentor
email@example.com Tel: 781.933.8666