Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) and the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) are expanding the Military Amputee Peer Visitor Program by conducting a train-the-trainer and peer mentor training seminar at the WWP’s headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla.
Organized by the ACA, the peer mentor seminar will be conducted by three members of the WWP who have participated in a two-day train-the-trainer seminar conducted by ACA staff.
“We realize that often the most positive influence on the initial recovery of a seriously injured service member is the friendship and understanding of a fellow wounded warrior,” Jim Mayer, director of peer mentoring and training for WWP, said in a news release.
The ACA pioneered the concept and standardized the training and certification of amputee peer visitors in 2001. The military peer visitor protocol was initially developed through the ACA’s work with Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and was later expanded to provide support for armed services members with traumatic brain injury (TBI), polytrauma and other injuries. To date, the ACA has certified more than 200 military amputee peer visitors.
“In 2008, WWP and the ACA adapted the ACA’s training to incorporate a much-needed mentoring component for injured warriors, to encompass all injuries, including post traumatic stress syndrome,” Pat Isenberg, certified master trainer and chief operating officer of the ACA, who will lead the training in Jacksonville, said in a press release.
WWP’s peer mentor program began utilizing the ACA’s newly developed curricula in August 2008 to train the first 25 WWP peer mentors. In November 2008, the ACA certified seven WWP staff members as peer mentor trainers.