Peer & Family Support

Peer & Family Support

Practical help, from lived experience of spinal cord injury

Meet the Team

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
  • Please complete the Peer Support Referral Form to get in touch with a team member or download the Peer and Family Support Brochure for more information.

    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.

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    In the Spinal Injury Unit
    Community Peer Support
    More on Our 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.

    Education Sessions –
    The Peer and Family Support Team holds group education sessions by request, covering a range of topics and giving you an opportunity to also socialise with others.

    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.

    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.

    Education Sessions –
    The Peer and Family Support Team holds group education sessions, 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.

    Service Standards

    Training Aside from having lived experience, our Peer Support team have undertaken training in mental health first aid, active listening and communication, accidental counselling, assistive technology, NDIS and health and well-being to make sure you are getting the best advice possible. We receive regular training to keep up to date with the latest information. Our team will support you, your family and your friends from the very beginning to enable you to regain independence, whatever that may look like.

    Our Values

    • Respect – We know that everyone’s post-injury experience is different. We assist you with what is important to you without judgement. Honesty – We know through personal experience how challenging adjusting to life with an injury can be. We also know that you need honest, direct and practical information.
    • Professionalism – Our team has undergone active listening and effective communication training, and while our communication is conversational, we always maintain professional standards.
    • Continuity – We can support you throughout your journey. Talk to us about our ongoing support.
    • Culturally responsive, person-centred practice – We treat everyone as an individual, recognising that a person is the sum of their life circumstances. We use interpreters when required.

    More Services

    Group Knowledge and Skills Sessions

    The Peer and Family Support team has developed a 12-week modular education program that covers life skills such as bowel/bladder maintenance, skin and pressure care, sexuality and intimacy and activities of daily living etc., that provides clients with independence and confidence to re-engage in
    their community.

    Telehealth Service

    The Peer & Family Support Telehealth sessions are there to keep you connected with the team and can involve either an individual chat or with your family. All discussions take place in the safety and comfort of your home and are between you and your Peer & Family Support coordinator. We will still maintain that lived-experience support, offering you guidance and advice.

    Recreational Outings

    In partnership with Sargood on Collaroy, the Peer and Family Support team host monthly BBQs for people with a spinal cord injury and their families. The BBQs are free and a great way to meet new people, enjoy the sunshine, relax and share experiences.

    Wheelchair and independence skills

    Our team offers a comprehensive in-house and community-based wheelchairs skills program that covers the basics of day-to-day wheelchair use through to community access and engagement.

    100% of people tell us that having a person with lived experience helped them to adjust better to life with an injury.

    [SCIA Impact Survey 2022]

    Help us support those with a spinal cord injury throughout their life.

    Support Us

    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.

    How often would you like to donate?

    “Without the program I wouldn’t have had the confidence to get back out the world so soon. It contributed to my happiness and overall hope for the future.” – Bianca

    CONTACT US

    To get in touch with our Peer Support

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    Get in touch
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    Call us at
    1800 819 775

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