Canadian Peer Support Helpline

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Attention News/Health Editors:

Kidney Foundation Establishes Peer Support Helpline for Canadians Affected by Kidney Disease
MONTREAL, March 30 /CNW Telbec/ - The Kidney Foundation of Canada will
launch a national peer support helpline on March 30 to provide people affected
by kidney disease with access to personal support services from coast-to-
coast.
Each day, an average of 14 Canadians learn that their kidneys have failed
and that they will require dialysis or a transplant to survive. Many had no
warning, since symptoms are often silent, or mistaken for other health
conditions.
Adjusting to the practical and emotional realities of living with kidney
disease can be difficult - talking to others who have confronted similar
challenges can be a helpful part of the coping process. However, for those
living in remote areas, access to peer support services was not a readily
available option. Responding to this need, The Kidney Foundation established
the toll-free helpline, which can be reached by calling 1-866-390-7337 (PEER).
“A national peer support helpline is about people helping people,” says
Doug Parsons, Chair of The Kidney Foundation’s National Patient Services
Committee. “As a renal social worker, I have witnessed first-hand the positive
impact that sharing one’s story has in helping to lessen anxiety and alleviate
fears.”
People who call into the helpline will have access to any one of 250 peer
support volunteers from across the country. The caller is matched with a
volunteer whose experience most closely resembles their own - by age, marital
and family status, and by what stage they are at in their treatment.
“Peer support volunteers come from all walks of life,” says Beryl
Ferguson, National Programs Director, “but they have three very important
things in common: they have completed the Kidney Foundation’s peer support
training program, they have signed an Oath of Confidentiality, and they are
living well with kidney disease.”
In addition to the benefits for those requesting the service, a recent
survey showed that peer support volunteers also find the program beneficial
for their own personal growth and wellbeing.
“Serving as a peer support volunteer has been very rewarding. Because of
what I’ve gone through, I feel I can offer a unique kind of support. And it
feels good to know that my own experience and the things I’ve learned can help
someone else,” says Cyril Muise, a kidney transplant recipient and peer
support volunteer who lives in Alberta.

The only national health charity addressing the needs of people affected

by kidney disease, The Kidney Foundation of Canada funds research, provides
education and support, promotes access to high quality healthcare and works to
increase public awareness and commitment to kidney health and organ donation.
For more information, visit www.kidney.ca.

For further information: Marlene Shoucair, Director, National
Communications, The Kidney Foundation of Canada, 1-800-361-7494, ext. 222

KIDNEY FOUNDATION OF CANADA - Renseignements sur cet organisme

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This effort sounds good to me. We do not have an equivalent in the U.S. If one calls the NKF, or other kidney associations, one gets a person with no real kidney knowledge reading canned responses off a paper. I have always felt we needed something like this.