What is a peer and a peer group?
A peer is someone with common interests or life experiences. These are people “who have been there” and can provide valuable insights and information to attain goals. Each member of a peer group can work on their own independent goals, with support from peers who may have already achieved similar goals. Each individual serves as a potential model for the next member. The peer Mentor program follows a self-help philosophy where a group of people decide to work together on an issue or characteristic they all share (spinal cord injury and/or dysfunction). The group is organized, designed and run by its members and staff at the VAMC.
Goals of the Peer Mentor Program
New England PVA’s Peer Mentor Program is designed to provide a supportive and relaxed atmosphere for people with disabilities to share concerns and address issues that affect their lives. Each group will target needs, share information about community resources available and develop problem-solving strategies to be self-advocates. The realization that one is not alone is of great value. Someone who has shared similar experiences can offer a special kind of understanding, which is not available anywhere else.
For more information about New England PVA’s Peering Mentoring Program, please contact our office at 800-661-1181 or email us.