Can you imagine learning how to navigate the system on your own after
having a life-changing injury?
You would have to learn to adjust to a different way of living your
life. It requires adapting to changes to your body, getting used to
using a wheelchair and creating some sort of social normalcy with
family and friends.
The South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association has a Peer Visitor
Program where individuals living with an injury can mentor and support
others who are newly injured. Even though it’s not a cure-all, it’s
important to have someone to call when help is needed.
Last week, the Association hosted its first training for peer
visitors. It was a great opportunity to learn how to work with an
individual and his or her family. Peer mentors want to be able to
connect people to resources like the wheelchair seating clinic or
support group meetings.
The training was somewhat of a support group meeting for me. It was
interesting to meet folks from around the state who are living with
similar situations. There were people representing a variety of
demographics and injury levels. We were able to all come together to
learn how to help those who are living with disabilities.
I’ve enjoyed the support I have received from my peers and look
forward to paying it forward to others in need of support. If you know
someone who needs a peer, contact the South Carolina Spinal Cord
Injury Association at http://www.scspinalcord.org.