Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program

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CaregiverPeer SupportMentoringProgramGuidelines, Eligibility, Getting Connected

Goal:The Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program was developed to: Strengthen relationships between caregivers Provide caregivers with networking opportunities Empower caregivers to help one anotherThe Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program provides an opportunity for caregivers to receive guidanceand to share their experience, wisdom, skills, and passion with other caregivers.In addition to providing support, the Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program also helps caregiversestablish relationships with each other and create a comfort zone for support. Caregivers offer invaluableknowledge, information, and perspective on the joys and challenges of caring for ill or injured Veterans.What is Peer Support Mentoring?Peer Support Mentoring is a support program where caregiver Mentors are matched with caregivers who areinterested in talking with more experienced caregivers. Caregiver Mentors will have access to training, ongoing support, and consultation with the National Peer Mentoring Support Program Manager. As a caregiverMentor, you will be asked to contact the caregiver you have been matched with on a monthly basis and tomake a commitment to the Program’s requirements.Mentoring Can Provide: Personalized guidance, based on experience and knowledge Friendship Strong practices from those who have been thereEvery VA Facility has a CSP Team who assists withinformation and referrals. To learn more about PGCSSand caregiver services offered, visit us online:www.caregiver.va.govVA Caregiver Support Line 1-855-260-3274 toll-free

April 2022Peer MentorPeer MenteeWhy Become a Peer Mentor?Why Become a Peer Mentee?Mentoring creates a trusting and helpful relationshipbetween two people. Peer Mentors provide menteespersonal support, assist with navigation of daily stressors,and can be role models for individuals who need help.Being the caregiver of a Veteran is full ofchallenges. VA has developed a Peer SupportMentoring Program to link you to a peer —someone who has experienced similar challengesand situations — to provide you with additionalsupport and guidance along your journey.Because caregivers face many challenges, it can help totalk with someone who has “been there” and understandsthe pressures that come with being a caregiver.Benefits of Being a Peer Mentee Creating an outlet for socializing andnetworking.Benefits of Serving as a Peer Mentor Sharing tips about caregiving that you have learnedthrough personal own experience. Sharing experience and knowledge of resources suchas VA benefits, the VA healthcare team and communityagencies that can provide needed assistance. Providing an outlet for socializing and networking. Helping caregivers build life skills to deal with adversityin the future.Becoming a Peer MentorThere are just four steps to becoming a caregiver Mentor.1. Connect with the National Program Manager to reviewthe Peer Support Mentoring Program criteria. Learning from the experience and supportof those who understand the challengescaregivers face. Receiving support from someone who has“been there.”Being matched with a Peer MentorCaregivers interested in having a Peer Mentorwill be matched with an appropriate peer. Allcaregivers involved in the VA Caregiver PeerSupport Mentoring Program will have anopportunity to talk with a Peer Mentor to discussthe Peer Support Mentoring Program.2. Register as a Volunteer and receive orientation in theCenter for Development and Civic Engagement (formerlyVoluntary Service Program) at your VA medical center.3. Complete the orientation to the Peer SupportMentoring Program.4. Be matched with another caregiver.Every VA Facility has a CSP Team who assists withinformation and referrals. To learn more about PGCSSand caregiver services offered, visit us online:www.caregiver.va.govVA Caregiver Support Line 1-855-260-3274 toll-free

April 2022Eligibility Criteria Caregivers of Veterans of all eras are eligible to participate in the VA Caregiver Peer Support MentoringProgram, both as Mentors and as Mentees and must be enrolled in the CSP Program. 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 centerVoluntary Services Department.How Can I Connect with the Peer Support Mentoring Program?Your local Caregiver Support Coordinator can assist you with a referral. Caregiver Support Coordinators serveto assist Veterans and caregivers access VA services and benefits as well as local community resources. Toidentify a local Caregiver Support Coordinator, contact your local VA medical center or use the locator link onthe caregiver website: www.caregiver.va.gov“When my wife was medically separatedfrom the Army, it became clear I would haveto step up my engagement as a husband andbecome a caregiver,” said Volker Brunke,caregiver to an Army Veteran. “Being anArmy husband made me realize very quicklythat a husband as a caregiver for a soldierisn’t common. I pretty much felt truly alone.But because of VA, I started to learn aboutthe caregiver program and this programhelped me to not only get my caregivercertifications but also enabled me to becomepart of the mentor program.”Every VA Facility has a CSP Team who assists withinformation and referrals. To learn more about PGCSSand caregiver services offered, visit us online:www.caregiver.va.govVA Caregiver Support Line 1-855-260-3274 toll-free

April 2022Contact Your Local Caregiver Support Team at:Every VA Facility has a CSP Team who assists withinformation and referrals. To learn more about PGCSSand caregiver services offered, visit us online:www.caregiver.va.govVA Caregiver Support Line 1-855-260-3274 toll-free

Peer Support Mentoring is a support program where caregiver Mentors are matched with caregivers who are . interested in talking with more experienced caregivers. Caregiver Mentors will have access to training, on-going support, and consultation with the National Peer Mentoring Support Program Manager. As a caregiver

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