About Peer Mentoring
As a valuable part of the health care team, Peer Mentors empower patients to move forward with their lives after being diagnosed with kidney disease. They are a bridge for better communication with medical staff, which assures that staff understand patients’ concerns, issues, and priorities. Peer mentors show patients that controlling and managing their health will allow them to live longer, happier lives. The NKFM's goal is to have at least two Peer Mentors in every kidney facility throughout the state of Michigan with regionally located training centers. The NKFM reaches 8,100 people per year through the Peer Mentoring Program.
Saturday, April 27, 2013 - Ann Arbor
To become a Peer Mentor through the NKFM’s Peer Mentoring Program, complete the online Peer Mentoring Training form.
Why a Peer Mentoring Program?
No matter how close a person with kidney disease is to friends, family, or their renal team, no one can fully understand an individual’s renal experience without walking the same path. A Peer Mentor can make a world of difference as living proof that life does not end with kidney disease.
Who Can Become a Peer Mentor?
Peer Mentors come from all different backgrounds! Potential Peer Mentors are individuals with a positive outlook on managing their disease who are committed to providing support to others. Referred by the renal team, they can be kidney donors, kidney transplant recipients, dialysis patients, and family members of patients, adolescent or adult.
Once the candidate makes the decision to become a Peer Mentor, that person is required to participate in an intensive 8-hour training program, learning communication and listening skills. They discuss topics such as grief and loss, sexuality and relationships, death and dying, and managing a chronic disease.
What do Peer Mentors do?
Peer Mentors play many different roles. Not only do they listen to fellow patients, but they also help patients confront challenging issues and emotions that go hand-in-hand with having a chronic illness. Some roles that peer mentors have include:
- Role modeling
- Information sharing
- Empathic listening
- Aiding in problem-solving
- Addressing issues of the disease and its treatments
- Linking to community resources
- Promoting good self maintenance behaviors
- Providing encouragement, hope, and understanding
- Relieving anxiety
- Legitimizing feelings such as fear, grieving, and anger
To become a Peer Mentor through the NKFM’s Peer Mentoring Program, complete the online Peer Mentoring Training form. To start a Peer Mentoring Program in your facility, or make a donation to the program, contact Erica Perry at 800-482-1455. Click here for the Peer Mentoring brochure.