When you have a spinal cord injury, there can be a lot of support available from experts, but sometimes it's not enough. Sometimes all you really want is to talk to someone who has the same sort of injury; to find out what life with a spinal cord injury is like from the inside.
What is peer support?
Peer Support is a service which bridges the divide between you and other people in the community who are living with the same kind of injury as you have. Advice, support, friendship and inside information are all benefits of Peer Support. This service can also introduce partners and family members to help people who are new to living with someone with a spinal cord injury.
How will peer support benefit me?
It may save you trying to 're-invent the wheel'. Issues that are frequently discussed are:
- tips on how to get dressed.
- returning to work.
- sexuality and relationships.
- driving and getting in and out of a car.
- accessible holiday accommodation.
- where to get wheelchairs, hoists, medical aids, etc.
Or you may just want to:
- speak to someone who has faced similar issues and experiences.
- talk to someone about your anxieties and fears.
- be advised of relevant entitlements
Spire - AQA Victoria's peer support service
Spire - AQA Victoria's Peer Support Service is a support network specifically designed to encourage, inform and assist people living with a physical disability.
Through this service you can meet people who have experienced similar issues in their lives. AQA has a large membership throughout Victoria and Tasmania. This means you can be linked to someone with similar interests and levels of injury.
When is peer support available?
Peer support at Spire is available:
- Monday to Friday during business hours or after hours and on weekends if previously arranged.
- during your stay in hospital (for many, initial contact is made with your team during your time as an inpatient).
- on a weekly basis at the Victorian Spinal Cord Service at Austin Health, which includes the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre.
- any time during your rehabilitation process.
- any time after completing your inpatient rehabilitation.
- via the telephone or e-mail. Please ring us or e-mail if you have any queries or would like to talk through any issue. It is good to keep contact after your rehabilitation.
- via pre-arranged community visits with Peer Support staff either at your home or at a convenient place nearby.
Phone: (03) 9489 0777
Independence Australia's peer support groups
Independence Australia's psychology service facilitate two ongoing support groups:
- Support group for family members of people with a spinal cord injury
- Support group for people who have an incomplete spinal cord injury with some capacity to walk
Phone: (03) 9418 0474