Peer Support Mentoring Program
Peer Support Mentoring Fact Sheets:
The Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program is available for general and family caregivers of all Veterans. The program was developed to strengthen relationships between caregivers, to provide an opportunity for networking and to empower caregivers to help one another.
Why Become a Peer Mentor?
Mentoring creates a trusting and helpful relationship between two people. Peer Mentors provide personal support to their Mentees, assist with the navigation of daily stressors and serve as role models for individuals who need help.
Benefits of Serving as a Peer Mentor
- Sharing tips about caregiving that you have learned through your own experience
- sharing your experience and knowledge of resources such as VA benefits, the VA healthcare team and community agencies that can provide needed assistance
- Providing an outlet for socializing and networking
- Helping caregivers build life skills to deal with adversity in the future
Why Work with a Peer Mentor?
Because there are many challenges to being a caregiver, it can be helpful for you to talk with someone who has “been there” and understands the pressures that come with being a caregiver.
Benefits of Having a Peer Mentor
- Creating an outlet for socializing and networking
- Learning from the experience and support of those who understand the challenges caregivers face
- Receiving support from someone who has “been there”
Eligibility Criteria/Becoming a Peer Mentor
- Caregivers of Veterans of all eras are eligible to participate in the VA Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program, both as Mentors and as Mentees.
- The first step is to register as a Volunteer and receive orientation in the Voluntary Services Program at your VA Medical Center (VAMC).
- The second is completing the orientation to the Peer Support Mentoring Program.
- The last step is being matched with another caregiver.
- Mentors will be required to participate in training before being assigned to a Mentee.
- Background and fingerprint checks are required for Mentors through the local VA medical center Voluntary Services Department.
How Can I Be Connected to the Peer Support Mentoring Program?
Your local Caregiver Support Coordinator can assist you with a referral. Caregiver Support Coordinators serve to assist Veterans and caregivers access VA services and benefits as well as local community resources.
Listen to a caregiver share their journey, be inspired and reassured that you are not alone! Sign up for monthly telephone-based group sessions. These presentations provide self-care tips on a range of topics and allow time for comments and questions.
Call VA’s Caregiver Support Line (CSL) at 1-855-260-3274 to learn more about the support that is available to you, and for assistance connecting with the Caregiver Support Team, at your local VA Medical Center.
VA CSL Expanded hours:
-Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET
-Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET
Your local Caregiver Support Team are licensed professionals who can support you by matching you with services for which you are eligible, and providing you with valuable information about resources that can help you stay smart, strong and organized as you care for the Veteran you love.
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