HeartKids Peers as Mentors

HeartKids Peers as Mentors - coffee

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.

The HeartKids Peers as Mentors program is modelled on the highly successful USA Stanford Children’s Hospital program regarded internationally as a model making a tremendous impact through best practice. 

HeartKids Peer Mentors may provide support to families at time of diagnosis, before and after hospital admission and importantly on the return home. 
 
Peers as Mentors may include:
  • 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/Bereaved), and
  • people with lived experience of congenital heart disease.
Our recent intake on Mentors was specifically selected in areas around the country where we know that families reside and would benefit from mentoring.
 
Peers as Mentors receive training and support from HeartKids whilst volunteering in this role.
 
How could a Mentor help me?
Our community tells us that they receive support and manage to cope whilst they are in hospital with their child, for example, but in the weeks and months following, they often feel alone or the whole experience really hits them.
 
We know, too that families are very keen to connect with other families – to talk to people who really understand the congenital heart disease journey.Whilst HeartKids Support Team may assist you whilst in hospital and in the weeks following, our Peers as Mentors can continue that direct support by:
  • Having regular phone calls when you need a chat
  • Meet up at a café
  • Being there for you when you need someone
Peers as Mentors can also facilitate additional support through our Support Team, if you require this and connect you to services you may need.
 
If you are living with congenital heart disease, or caring for someone who is and would like to be connected with a Peers as Mentor in your local area, please contact our HeartKids Helpline 1800 432 785.