Peer to Peer Support For The Melanoma Community
What is Peer Connect?
Peer Connect is a peer-to-peer support program, AIM at Melanoma’s answer to the ongoing need for support in the melanoma community. Melanoma patients, family members, and caregivers who join the program will be matched with a peer, and from there the pair will communicate in a way that is comfortable for both. Members of Peer Connect can provide each other with knowledge, experience, emotional support, and more. AIM will generally try to match melanoma “veterans” with those newer to the disease—a Mentor to a Mentoree—unless requested otherwise. Peer support is a two-way street because giving support is just as valuable and therapeutic as receiving support. Peer Connect will allow for ongoing support during cancer treatment and beyond.
Who is Peer Connect For?
Peer Connect was created with the entire melanoma community in mind. AIM invites all those affected by melanoma—patients, caregivers, family members—and all types of melanoma—cutaneous, mucosal, acral—to participate in the program and benefit from one-on-one support with their peers. For ocular melanoma patients, AIM has partnered with A Cure in Sight for the Peer Connect program. AIM is even creating a Peer Connect group for pediatric and young adults to meet the ever-growing support needs of some of our youngest melanoma patients and their families. AIM recognizes the critical need for peer support in the melanoma community and has created Peer Connect to give that support.
Why is Peer Connect Important?
AIM knows that connecting people who are affected by melanoma will benefit everyone. Patients can vent, cry, and ask each other questions they may not be comfortable asking others. They can share information and experiences that may help them better communicate with their medical teams and better navigate the disease. They can inspire each other to keep moving forward. Caregivers and family members can share their emotions—confusion, fear, stress, exhaustion, and even guilt—and help each other find new ways to lighten the load. “Connectedness” is a critical part of modern cancer care. Giving this sense of “connectedness” to patients, caregivers, and family members is the goal of Peer Connect. Personal experience is priceless, and AIM recognizes the need for this special kind of support.
How Do I Sign Up?
All that’s required to participate in the Peer Connect program is the desire to support a peer or the need for support. The application process is easy. Just contact AIM’s Director of Community Engagement, Brenda Busby. Brenda interviews everyone interested in the program. Then, after a short training, she will connect a mentor to a mentoree—and the pair will take it from there. AIM will assist all participants in Peer Connect throughout the program.
You can also download/print this form here: Peer Connect Form