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Peer Mentor Guidelines

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OVERVIEW

The goals of the Facial Pain Association’s Peer Mentor Program are to:

1. Promote and support the mission, vision, and priorities of FPA

2. Be a resource for anyone affected by facial pain

3. Promote awareness of FPA

4. Promote public awareness of facial pain

The Peer Mentor Program is an important part of FPA’s commitment to substantially increase the number of people we reach in the facial pain community including those living neuropathic facial pain, their caregivers, and the medical community. FPA believes personal contact with others affected by facial pain is critical, and will promote the Peer Mentor program through all FPA communication channels.

FPA Peer Mentors are trained volunteers who respond to inquiries from those affected by facial pain. Volunteers will strive to communicate with empathy, honesty, and reassurance. FPA will provide volunteers with training, support, and educational resources.

FPA welcomes Peer Mentor volunteers from varied backgrounds, life experiences, and medical histories. No specific skills, educational background or experiences are required to serve as a Peer Mentor. However, successful applicants are asked to meet the requirements listed in these Guidelines.

FPA MISSION, VISION AND PRIORITIES

MISSION: To serve those with neuropathic facial pain, including trigeminal neuralgia, through support, education, and advocacy.

VISION: To be the most reliable and comprehensive resource on facial pain conditions for patients, their families and healthcare professionals.

PRIORITIES:
1. Substantially increase the number of people with neuropathic facial pain, their caregivers and the medical community who the FPA reaches

2. Improve the value of FPA’s work by significantly improving the alignment and delivery of information and support to the needs of our constituents

3. Expand the healthcare community’s awareness, involvement with, and support of FPA’s work to better serve our community

4. Substantially expand FPA’s strength by developing a large volunteer corps and aligning their activities with our mission and plan

5. Increase FPA’s revenues to enable it to fully fulfill its mission and implement this plan

BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING

1. Connect with others with shared experiences

2. Help others by sharing information and tips on dealing with specific issues, overcoming disabilities, and reassurance better times are ahead

3. Reduce the isolation, and frustration felt by many affected by facial pain

APPLICATION PROCESS

1. Complete and return the application

2. FPA will contact applicants, if appropriate, to schedule a telephone interview

3. Feedback given by FPA to applicants with next steps, as needed

4. FPA leadership may approve or decline any applicant at their discretion

HOW IT WORKS

FPA is contacted daily by members of the facial pain community seeking support and information. FPA responds by providing requested information along with a list of resources including a list of Peer Mentors. The Peer Mentor list includes contact information, demographics, treatment information, symptoms, and other shared personal information for each volunteer. It is then up to the individual to reach out to one or more Peer Mentor from the list.

Peer Mentors are encouraged to share their experiences, offer encouragement, with those who contact them. If the person requires additional educational information, a Peer Mentor is encouraged to direct them back to the FPA. FPA has a wealth of information on file, and will be the best resource for additional materials.

VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS

General:

1. Possess good communication skills and be able to speak objectively with different types of people

2. Reflect positively on FPA in all interactions including conversation, in writing, and on social media

3. Be knowledgeable about FPA programs and services

4. Respect the privacy and confidentiality of the person contacting you

5. Never share information for any purpose inconsistent with FPA polices

6. Commit to a two-year term as Peer Mentor volunteer

Communication with Others:

1. Be accessible by email and/or telephone

2. Respond to inquiries in a timely manner

3. Grant permission to FPA to disclose information provided on the Peer Mentor Application including contact information, diagnosis, treatment information, age, location (city/state) and other relevant talking points

4. Do not speak on behalf of FPA on any media unless part of an official FPA activity

Keep in Touch with FPA:

1. Update contact information with FPA, as needed

2. Update your personal information with FPA including any treatment updates, as needed

3. Inform FPA if you will be unavailable for an extended time

4. Coordinate information requests with FPA Volunteer Coordinator

5. Periodically report on contacts and topics discussed

RESOURCES

FPA is committed to supporting Peer Mentors with training, education and resources. Volunteers will:

1. Be invited to attend group video conferences or other group training opportunities

2. Be provided with educational materials on topics they request

3. Have access to other FPA resources including other Peer Mentors, Support Group Leaders, local Support Group meetings, Support Group virtual meetings

Upon approval, new Peer Mentors will receive a Welcome Package to include:

1. Letter or email confirming participation and effective dates of participation

2. Current Peer Mentor list

3. List of FPA Support Groups with leader contact information

4. Information and Resources List

FPA DISCLAIMER

All volunteers are approved by FPA and may be removed from the Peer Mentor list at any time at the discretion of FPA.

Volunteers may share personal experiences in an effort to increase awareness and educate participants about their diagnosis and treatment experience. When sharing experiences, volunteers must be clear they are sharing personal stories as someone else might have a different experience.

Peer Mentors may not give medical advice. Opinions expressed, or information provided, by FPA Peer Mentors is not a substitute for medical advice. Peer Mentors must always encourage those they communicate with to contact their own doctor, or other professional healthcare provider, with questions concerning their or their family’s health.

FPA STATEMENTS

FPA is a secular organization and respects all spiritual beliefs. There shall be no discrimination in the recruitment, selection, placement, training, retention, and recognition of volunteers regardless of race, color, religion, ethnicity, age, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or national origin.

Revision July 20, 2020

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