Peer Support

What is a peer mentor?

A peer mentor is a volunteer with a disability who assists people with similar disabilities. The peer mentor helps promote personal growth by sharing their own experiences and explaining how they have coped with the “ups and downs” of having a disability.

In the case of a person with a newly acquired disability, the peer mentor helps with the radical change in lifestyle that is often forthcoming by offering emotional support, helping solve problems and sorting out life goals. Staff mentors act as coordinators of the peer mentor program, interviewing interested persons and providing peer mentor training. Upon completion of extensive training, the coordinators match the volunteer peer mentor with a peer and provide supervision and support throughout the process.

How does Mountain State Centers for Independent Living, use peer mentors?

Outreach

The Community Resource Advocate will coordinate outreach among consumers when a need presents, such as a hospital visit, a phone call to someone feeling down or other peer service.

The New Beginnings group meets once month to plan events for our consumers. The group has had several events now and the participation has been great! We have had a dance, karaoke parties, game night and other fun events. Peers meet and get to know one another, while having fun and forming friendships.

Individual Peer Mentoring

Each center has peer mentors available on staff to provide ongoing support. Volunteer peer mentors may also be assigned to help a consumer reach maximum independence and self-sufficiency.

Support Groups

Peer mentors act as facilitators and participants in support groups. Support groups meet and inspire individuals to take sensible risks, try new things, improve knowledge of their own disability, and share coping skills; they also provide a valuable network of social contacts, resources, and role models.

If you are interested in receiving Peer Counseling Services in Cabell or Wayne Counties, contact Cassie Shelton at 304-962-5103 or email cshelton@mtstcil.org

If you are interested in receiving Peer Counseling Services in Fayette or Raleigh Counties, contact Stephanie Hill at 304-962-0005 or email  shill@mtstcil.org

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