HeartKids Peers as Mentors Program was established in early 2018 and has mentors based across Australia.
Whilst every families’ congenital heart disease journey is unique, Mentors can offer practical assistance, share their own story, be a friendly face, a supportive shoulder and voice on the end of the phone. HeartKids Peer Mentors may provide support to families at time of diagnosis, before and after hospital admission and importantly on the return home.
What is the Peers as Mentors Program?
The HeartKids Peers as Mentors program is modelled on the highly successful and internationally regarded USA Stanford Children’s Hospital program.
Mentors may include a range of people with lived experience of childhood heart disease, including:
- Families of children with childhood heart disease
- Adults living with congenital heart disease
- Families that have lost their child to congenital heart disease (Heart Angels)
Peer Mentors receive training and support from HeartKids whilst volunteering in this role.
How could a mentor help me?
Our community tells us that they while they receive strong support when they're in hospital, sometimes in the weeks and months following they can feel alone when the whole experience really hits them. We know too that often families are very keen to connect with other families – to talk to people who really understand the congenital heart disease journey.
Whilst the HeartKids support team may assist you during a hospital stay and in the weeks following, Mentors can continue that direct support by:
- Having regular phone calls when you need a chat
- Meet ups at a café
- Being there for you when you need someone
Mentors can also offer general advice and connect you to other services you may need.
Want to know more?
To learn more about the Peers as Mentors Program, including information on how to connect with or become a Mentor, call the HeartKids Helpline on 1800 432 785 (business hours) or send us an email.
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