HeyPeers and The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation launches Virtual Peer Support Groups
Pasadena, CA and Short Hills, N.J., May 19, 2021
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation launched its virtual support groups on the HeyPeers platform to combat social isolation. The groups are offered through the Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center (PRC).
“We are excited to have the Foundation join our HeyPeers community”, said Vince Caimano, CEO of HeyPeers. “HeyPeers has seen demand for safe, affordable, and effective peer support telehealth rapidly grow since the start of the Pandemic. The impact on emotional, mental, and behavioral health has been severe, and HeyPeers was designed to enable those with shared life experiences to connect and to have a structured program to improve their lives.”
Living with Paralysis and Caring for a Family Member Living with Paralysis support groups are free online meetings designed for individuals living with paralysis and caregivers to connect with community members, offer support to one another, and reduce feelings of isolation. The groups will offer significant connection among peers who understand the day-to-day challenges of living with paralysis. The program features three separate support groups for individuals who are:
- Living with paraplegia;
- Living with quadriplegia; and
- Family members and caregivers.
“The feeling of isolation is common for many individuals who have been diagnosed with paralysis, and the COVID-19 pandemic has not helped this sense of seclusion,” said Bill Cawley, Director, Peer & Family Support Program. “However, COVID-19 has shifted the way the world connects, and distance is no longer an obstacle. We can utilize this ‘new normal’ and create a safe space for people to connect with others who understand what they are going through and gain support, insight, and guidance.”
The free, hour-long meetings will take place twice a month on Hey Peers, a software platform dedicated to hosting peer support and providing users, such as the Foundation, to better track emotional wellness outcomes from peer support. Each meeting will host up to 15 participants. The sessions will address a wide range of topics, from health challenges and nutrition to traveling and dating. A professional and a community member facilitator will help lead the conversations and encourage participants to share stories and suggest new topics.
The Living with Paralysis and Caring for a Family Member Living with Paralysis virtual support groups build on the Reeve Foundation’s longstanding Peer & Family Support Program, a network for people living with paralysis and their family members or caregivers to connect for hope, support, and a way forward. The Peer and Family Support Program recognizes the best source of knowledge is experience and offers a lifeline for anyone impacted by paralysis — from the newly paralyzed to people who have lived with the condition for decades — by offering personalized information and resources to live a fulfilling life.
These programs advance the Reeve Foundation’s mission to improve the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis and are supported by the PRC — a free, comprehensive source of informational support for people living with paralysis and their caregivers. The PRC is the only national program that directly serves the 5.4 million Americans living with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), stroke, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and other forms of paralysis. In partnership with Administration for Community Living (ACL), the PRC works to combat the environmental and social barriers to health and community living for individuals with paralysis and their family members through a vast network of services and educational resources.
To find out more about the Living with Paralysis and Caring for a Family Member Living with Paralysis support groups or to sign up, please visit HeyPeers.
About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis. By uniting the brightest minds in the field, we are working tirelessly to accelerate scientific discovery across the field of spinal cord research by investing in labs across the globe. Additionally, through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living, the Reeve Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) promotes the health, well-being, and independence of people living with paralysis, providing comprehensive information, resources, and referral services assisting over 100,000 individuals and families since its launch in 2002. The Reeve Foundation is committed to elevating our community’s voices and needs to achieve greater representation and independence. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. For more information, please visit www.ChristopherReeve.org or call 800–225–0292.
HeyPeers is a SaaS platform designed to enable affordable and safe peer support telehealth. Peer support is a proven modality for treating those that are looking for help to deal with emotional challenges created by physical, behavioral, mental health, and other personal conditions. HeyPeers provides a community where those that are seeking help can easily find, match, and connect with certified coaches and other peers that share lived experiences. Employee Assistance Programs, Employers, Health Care Benefit Plans, Non-Profits, Community Health Care Organizations, and Hospitals use HeyPeers to offer secure support to their populations and use the analytic tools to monitor and measure the quality of peer support care and the impact on their population. For more information, please visit http://www.heypeers.com/ or contact our team.