Peer & Family Support

Peer & Family Support

Practical help, from lived experience of spinal cord injury


Support for people with an injury and families, in spinal units and in the community

The recovery journey after a spinal cord injury is incredibly challenging, which is why SCIAs Peer and Family Support program is so critical. The Peer and Family Support team provide free, non-clinical, practical advice and lived experience of physical disability to help people with spinal cord injury to;

  • Regain your independence
  • Make connections in your community
  • Practice skills for everyday living
  • Develop the knowledge you need for everyday living
  • To feel supported and respected
  • Click here to complete the Peer Support Referral Form to get in touch with a team member or click here to download the Peer and Family Support Brochure.

    The Peer and Family Support service is largely self-funded. Your generosity will help us provide critical support to people who’s life, through no fault of their own, has been tragically impacted by a spinal cord injury. Let’s help them regain their independence, rebuild their dreams and live their best life.

    We are here for you

    Everyone’s experience is different

    Whether you are at the start of your journey, a few years in, or have been living with a spinal cord injury for some time, our Peer Support team are out and about in the community ensuring they have the latest information on new equipment, assistive technology, products and services that may be of use to you. Whether this is accessing care, modifying your home, or finding out the best transport options in your community, our Peer Support team can link you up with other organisations and share their combined knowledge to support you. We know that everyone’s post injury experience is different. We assist you with what is important to you, without judgement.

    tab icon 1
    In the Spinal Injury Unit
    Family Peer Support
    Community Peer Support

    Lived experience to support you

    We are here for you

    While you are in the spinal unit, our team like to keep things as flexible as possible because we know that your schedules are often very busy with medical appointments.

    Therefore, we are can arrange to:

  • Meet you in your room
  • Meet you in the hospital café or hospital grounds
  • Meet you at a prearranged time
  • Go out with you into the community to develop your skills
  • 1:1 Conversations: Sharing Core Knowledge and Skills

    Our team will visit you every week, or at prearranged times, to discuss issues that are important to you. Before you leave the spinal unit we will talk to you about core knowledge for life post injury.

    We help you to practically apply the knowledge that enables you to maintain health, independence, relationships and community connections.

    Group Knowledge and Skills Sessions

    Education Sessions -
    The Peer Support Team participate in the weekly education sessions organised by the clinical team in the spinal injury units. Participation is compulsory for people in the units and family are welcome to attend. Topics cover key knowledge areas and information about them is available on the ward every week.

    We work in partnership with the clinical teams to share lived experience and practical application of knowledge and skills.

    Recreational Outings -
    When possible, we join the recreational outings organised by the spinal injury units to help demonstrate the practical application of skills.

    Evening Social Confidence Sessions -
    Going out again for the first time can be overwhelming, but it’s an important step when adjusting to life with an injury.

    Talk to us about anything

    We can help and support you

    We encourage and welcome family members and carers to talk to us whilst we are in the units or you can call to make an appointment for a more in depth discussion.

    Open Family Forums

    Family forums are held every 6 weeks in both the Prince of Wales and Royal Rehab spinal injury units. People who are in Royal North Shore are also welcome to attend the sessions in Royal Rehab.

    Hear from the perspective of a partner or a parent who has supported someone with an injury transitioning from a rehabilitation unit to a home setting.

    Sessions are facilitated and participants have the opportunity to ask questions and hear from others who have had similar experiences.

    Online Forum

    The SCIA Online Forum is a vibrant online space for people to ask questions, read about new products and services and connect with other people. The Peer and Family Support Team is regularly online, posting new or useful information and answering any questions you may have about life with a spinal cord injury.

    Continued support

    Whenever you need it

    Services we provide:

  • Do a follow-up call to everyone who has received peer support in a spinal injury units within two weeks of discharge
  • Offer regular monthly check-ins
  • Assist people at all stages of their journey
  • You can also reach out to us and call us or arrange an online video call.
  • As your life changes, so do your needs and so do the products and services available.

    Click here to complete the Peer Support Referral Form to get in touch with a team member.

    We help you to practically apply the knowledge that enables you to maintain health, independence, relationships and community connections.

    Group Knowledge and Skills Sessions

    Education Sessions -
    The Peer and Family Support Team holds group education sessions by request at SCIA’s Neuromoves exercise centres, covering a range of topics and giving you an opportunity to also socialise with others.

    Recreational Outings -
    SCIA Peer and Family Support have joined forces with Sargood on Collaroy to host monthly BBQs for people with a spinal cord injury. The BBQ’s are free and a great opportunity to meet new people, enjoy the sunshine, relax and share experiences.

    Last year we worked with [156] support clients and held more than [120] Info + Education sessions.


    To get in touch with our Peer Support

    email icon

    Get in touch
    with us online

    phone icon

    Call us at
    1800 819 775