A word from our CEO- Shaun Dyer
SCI-AB was founded in 1961 by WWII survivor Pierre Gariepy, whose vision to support injured veterans to adapt, adjust and thrive despite their condition has been the bedrock of SCI-AB’s commitment to client care for more than half a century. This issue of Spinal Times highlights SCI-AB’s Client Service and Peer Programs, two vital streams of care for people living with a spinal cord injury and other disabilities here in Alberta.
Spinal cord injuries are devastating and disorienting, forcing clients and their support networks to engage the world in entirely new ways. That’s where SCI-AB’s Peer Program comes in. Our peer mentors connect with newly injured clients early on in their journey, often while still in acute care and then through rehab and beyond. Our peers help clients navigate the murky and traumatic early days following injury with guidance on everything from applying for resources to understanding what’s happening to their bodies to housing support as they adapt to a new way of thriving in the world. What sets our peer mentors apart is that they, too, live with spinal cord injuries. We often hear from clients that the fact that our peer mentors have “lived experience” lends credibility and fosters trust, providing clients with a degree of confidence and ease as they adjust.
Think back over your life. Who have been your mentors? Could you imagine where you’d be without them? Our clients often tell us that without our peer mentors, the path to thriving would have been far more complicated and daunting. So we celebrate our peer mentors and thank them for their humble and dedicated service to clients as they help them adapt, adjust, and thrive.