Spinal Support NZ has been in service at the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit since 1991. Our trained Peer Support Workers visit each new in-patient at the Spinal Unit and explain how the Service can provide them, and their family/ whanau, with regular social and practical support during their time at the Unit.
If a new patient wants to continue with the Peer Support Service after their discharge into the community the Peer Support coordinator sets out to find a suitable Community Peer Supporter (CPS) for him or her. From our network of local and regional members, with either Tetraplegia or Paraplegia, we are generally able to select an appropriately matched volunteer. Where possible the CPS will be introduced to the patient before discharge. Arrangements are then made for regular community visits, or other forms of regular contact, that are suitable to them both.
If the discharged patient resides outside of Auckland our Regional Coordinator covering that particular area will be advised, and contact made once the patient is settled.
Spouses, parents, children and other family members can also ask to be matched with a family/ whanau supporter from their community.