Why a Mentor?

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on January 20, 2017 # Peer & Family Support Program Spotlight

The Peer & Family Support Program (PFSP) was created in 2011 to provide one-on-one mentoring to people living with paralysis, their family members and caregivers. The PFSP wants to ensure that every member of our community who has questions or needs support has access to a mentor. Yet, we understand that taking the first step of asking for help can be hard. To ease the hesitation that some people may feel about reaching out, here are answers to some typical questions we get about mentoring.

How can a peer mentor help?

Our peer mentors have years of experience of personally living with paralysis or as a caregiver. They are well-equipped to offer support with a variety of related topics. For example, they help peers (people who are receiving mentoring) adjust to life following a spinal cord injury or transition home from a rehab center. Our mentors provide advice on finding jobs and educational opportunities and assist with getting information on health and secondary conditions. They will work with you to build confidence and motivation and set and reach goals. In addition, our mentors help family members to navigate through the responsibilities of being a caregiver. By using a personalized approach, our mentors encourage and empower each peer to live a fulfilling and active life.

Will my mentor understand what I am going through?

Our mentors have “been there” and gone through the same experiences and emotions that their peers are facing. They understand the day-to-day realities and long-term challenges of life with paralysis and know how to navigate them. And every mentor has been trained and certified by our program to make sure they have the skills necessary for listening, connecting and helping. In addition, to make the most of the mentoring relationship, we will match you with a mentor who is of the same gender, age, cause and level of paralysis.

What do mentors and their peers talk about?

You decide what to discuss with your mentor so that the conversation focuses on your needs. Some peers have just a few questions about a specific topic while others want to talk about on-going issues or challenges. Some frequently discussed topics include relationships, how to find attendant care, staying positive, creating a new normal, and going back to work.

How do mentors and peers meet and how often?

You select how you will communicate with your mentor: either in person, by phone, text, email, or video chat. You also decide how often you meet with your mentor and for how long.

If you or a loved one needs a helping hand, please contact us to get support, guidance and answers. #ReeveMentors

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.