United Spinal Peer Mentors – A Network of Spinal Cord Injury Support

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United Spinal Peer Mentors – A Network of Spinal Cord Injury Support

Through extensive role playing and small group work, United Spinal’s Peer Mentoring Program teaches mentors the skills and knowledge needed to help peers in the SCI/D community adjust to life after paralysis

Through extensive role playing and small group work, United Spinal’s Peer Mentoring Program teaches mentors the skills and knowledge needed to help peers in the SCI/D community adjust to life after paralysis.

Peer Mentors offer peer-to-peer support which for most people with a spinal cord injury is the best support that they can get.

There is no greater support than that of your peers, which is exactly why United Spinal Association’s national Peer Men­toring Program is growing in leaps and bounds.

Connecting newly injured or diagnosed individuals with others who not only understand their issues but how to overcome them is extremely valuable. It can change someone’s state of mind, provide a positive outlook and lead to new opportunities that were never even consid­ered possible. It’s easy to see the power of peer mentoring working with individuals who credit just how empowering and life changing their own mentors once were.

The goal of the Peer Mentoring program is to ensure individuals across the country are connected to the very best resources to help people with spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D) maintain inde­pendent and active lives. The peer-to-peer mentoring is also provided to caregivers and family members, and shares guidance on all facets of living with SCI/D, includ­ing: employment, affordable housing, transportation, health care and education.

The trainings are led by Lindsey Elliott, United Spinal’s director of member initia­tives, and have had an immediate impact according to participating chapter members. “This set an immensely solid foundation for our marquee program, that we feel will set the tone for our young organization,” said Richard Bagby, deputy director for United Spinal Association of Virginia.

To date United Spinal has conducted trainings all over the country, including: Houston; Pittsburgh; Las Vegas; Boston; Oklahoma City; Madison, Wisconsin; Des Moines, Iowa; Rochester, New York; Min­neapolis, Minnesota; Raleigh, North Caro­lina; Richmond, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee. A total of 169 mentors have been trained throughout this incredible network. The program has grown and flourished thanks to generous funding from Hollister, Inc. The 2016 goal is to continue to work with United Spinal’s chapter network and train at additional sites.

If you are interested in learning more about the Peer Mentoring Program, please contact Lindsey Elliott at lelliott@unitedspinal.org.

2017-06-23T07:01:02+00:00Categories: Latest, United Spinal Updates|

Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury can result in paralysis of the muscles used for breathing; paralysis and/or loss of feeling in all or some of the trunk, arms, and legs; weakness; numbness; loss of bowel and bladder control; and numerous secondary conditions including respiratory problems, pressure sores, and sometimes fatal spikes in blood pressure. Approximately 12,000 new spinal cord injuries occur in the U.S. each year. A majority of injuries occur from motor vehicle accidents, falls, work-related accidents, sports injuries, and penetrations such as stab or gunshot wounds.

Our Membership Community

Our membership community provides a lifeline for many individuals that are focused on regaining their independence and improving their quality of life––whether they are leaving rehab after sustaining a spinal cord injury, learning to live with symptoms of a spinal cord disorder, or have spent years of frustration coping with disability. We provide members guidance and resources on a variety of topics they are passionate about, such as employment, affordable housing, transportation, health care, home- and community-based independent living, education, peer support, and leisure and recreation.
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