Our peer counselling network

Our peer counselling network

A peer counselor is, by definition, a peer helper who is part of our integration team. His goal is to assist our members in their rehabilitation process and their social needs accordingly. He meets people with spinal cord injuries in their environment to give them support and encourage them in their reintegration process.

They can offer:

  • Emotional support: he listens to the member with empathy. He tries to reduce the impact of challenging situations and encourages the member in the course of socialization.
  • Privileged attention to each member: with a positive attitude, he acknowledges the member’s intrinsic value and can share his own qualities and successes.
  • Practical support: the peer counselor can offer advice on a daily basis in order to develop useful skills (how to organize his groceries, how to navigate safely …). He can also offer support and advice in the necessary steps to a successful reintegration process (using paratransit, adapting their vehicle, housing …).

From his experience related to his own spinal cord injury, the volunteer peer counselor can help the member overcome obstacles and identify problems with the objective of stimulating his ability to move forward.


Active volunteer peer counselors:

Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean : Christine Thibault and Jean-Pierre Gobeil

Capitale-Nationale : Éric Gilbert

Chaudière-Appalaches : Madeleine Holden and Dominique Guay

Eastern Townships : Valérie Guimond

Abitibi-Témiscamingue : Dominic Piché et Anne Daigle

Montérégie : Dominic Mercier 

Objectives of this project:

To facilitate the realization of the role of MEMO-Que with regards to the rehabilitation and integration of our members at the start of their new lives, we wish to develop a presence and a source of support throughout Quebec. We want to offer an equal quality of services and interventions throughout all regions of Quebec, from Montréal to Lac St. Jean.

Specifically, we want to support anyone with a spinal cord injury throughout Québec with respect to the principles of fairness and equality, and offer the appropriate support to our members to ensure quality integration. This will take place throughout the entire rehabilitation process, from the initial diagnosis in the hospital to their return to everyday life. Our main objective is to have volunteer peer counselors throughout Quebec and to be represented in all of the rehabilitation centers in the province.

Becoming a volunteer peer counselor:

Our peer counselors are volunteers recruited primarily by our integration counselors that are able to serve as examples for people with spinal cord injuries who have completed their rehabilitation for at least one year. They will be trained in two workshops before being able to meet our members.

Our peer counselors are recruited according to the following criteria:

  • be a person with a spinal cord injury;
  • have used the rehabilitation and reintegration services;
  • have lived in a stable state for at least one year;
  • be willing to share his personal story;
  • have an interest in the experience and mutual support among their peers;
  • have solid communication skills;
  • have an interest in organizing activities;
  • be a member of MEMO-Que.

If you would like to become a volunteer peer counselor or to get more information about it, contact Vanessa-Anne Paré, community organizer for Western Quebec (514 341-7272 ext 233 or vpare@moelleepiniere.com), or Aurélie Marsal, community organizer for Eastern Quebec (418 529-9141 ext 2028 or amarsal@moelleepiniere.com).