Accepting your new life after sustaining a spinal cord injury can be hard. What can be even harder is understanding how you can live the rest of your life as someone who is paralyzed. While therapists can help you come to terms with your new normal, one of the best ways to move forward in life after a spinal cord injury is to connect with a peer mentor. Peer mentors can be life-changing and empowering resources for people with spinal cord injuries. The good news is that there are many places across the nation where you can find a spinal cord injury peer mentor, both in-person and online.
Where to Request a Mentor
One of the best places to request a peer mentor is right here with us. We offer peer mentors with varying levels of spinal cord injuries. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help connect you with a peer mentor in your area or online.
You can also reach out to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, one of the biggest spinal cord injury organizations in the country. They have a large peer mentor network. You can connect with this program here: https://www.christopherreeve.org/get-support/get-a-peer-mentor
The United Spinal Foundation also has a peer mentor program. You can request a peer mentor by completing their online application. You can learn more here about this program here: https://unitedspinal.org/peer-mentoring. And lastly, The American Spinal Cord Injury Association also offers a peer mentor program for individuals with spinal cord injured individuals, matching them with spinal cord injury professionals. You can learn more about their program here: https://asia-spinalinjury.org/membership/mentorship/
Support groups can also help you come to terms with your new life. You can find a network of spinal cord injury support groups across the country through the United Spinal Foundation. On their site, they have a directory to help you find a support group for people with spinal cord injuries near you: https://unitedspinal.org/disability-products-services/support-groups/
Why a Peer Mentor Can Help
There are many important reasons you should reach out to a peer mentor after your injury, even if you aren’t positive that a peer mentorship is right for you. Time and time again, people are shocked at how integral their peer mentor is to their healing post-injury. A peer mentor can provide insights on their past experiences, and they can help you make important connections in your community. So much of having a mentor is the doors they can open for you and the connections they can help you make.
They cannot, however, do everything for you. Your peer mentor will give you knowledge to go forward in life, and they will serve as an example of what is possible after sustaining a SCI. Make sure that you maintain consistent communication with your mentor, even if it’s just an update on how you’re doing. Connecting regularly makes for a stronger relationship. Additionally, it’s important not to be afraid to ask for help. A peer mentor has your back and makes sure you’re not alone; but be careful not to use them as a crutch. A healthy and helpful peer mentorship should be with a person that you learn from and grow with.
The right peer mentorship can change your life forever. If you are looking for a spinal cord injury peer mentor, email us at email@example.com. Soon, we will help connect you with a peer mentor in your area or online.