SCI Peer Mentor Program

The program has been established to bridge the disconnect in the psycho/social arena and offer additional recreational opportunities available after discharge from rehabilitation.

What Is A Peer Mentor?

The word “peer” simply means someone who is similar to you be it in age, gender, race, education, or disability.  “Mentoring” simply means serving as a trusted counselor or teacher.  A peer mentor is someone who has a spinal cord injury (SCI), is living successfully with it, and wants to help others in similar situations.  A peer mentor is not a replacement for health care professionals, but they can be a valuable resource.

Peer mentors assist individuals who are newly injured or diagnosed with a SCI in a variety of ways such as:  

  • Sharing thoughts and experiences about SCI;
  • Coping with SCI;
  • Discussing ways to prevent medical complications; and,
  • Assisting others in living a healthy, active life.


Levels of Mentorships

SCI Peer Mentors

A SCI Peer Mentor is a formal mentor relationship consisting of a newly diagnosed person and an individual who has been living with SCI for a longer period of time.  The relationship involves one-on-one meetings, outings, as well as correspondence via phone and e-mail for a pre-determined length of time.

SCI Peer Visitors

A visitor consists of a one-time visit between an individual in acute rehabilitation and a volunteer living with SCI.  These visits are facilitated and supervised by the Care Coordination and Therapeutic Recreation departments.  

SCI Peer Pen/Phone Pals

The SCI Peer Pen Pal program was developed as a partner to the Peer Mentor Program.  Recognizing that people have busy lives and many commitments, the pen/ phone pal program gives individuals with SCI an option to have support by phone and e-mail as opposed to face-to-face meetings. 

Need a Peer Mentor?

We have trained peer mentors who have real life experience in dealing with a SCI/D and can provide great ideas, tips, and support for those who might be going through a life-altering change. We have been there, know it’s not easy but there is a way to triumph. 

Want to be a Peer Mentor?

If you are someone living with spinal cord injury/disorder and are at least one year post injury and would like to be a committed volunteer in the peer mentor program, contact Harsh Thakkar at [email protected] or 202-877-1859.