The Polish MS Association is expanding its support for people with MS with a new peer support project: the ‘Peer to Peer’ programme. The programme is designed to enable people with MS to provide psychological, emotional and practical support to people recently diagnosed with MS.
The organisation is currently training 10 people with MS to equip them with the skills needed to offer the right support to others with MS. Rather than acting as professional doctors or therapists, these participants will act as volunteers, sharing their life experiences to help others. The training will involve a range of psychology and communication workshops.
The ‘Peer to Peer’ programme was inspired by a similar project launched in the Czech Republic, which proved to be a great success for people with MS. The Polish MS Association is therefore using the knowledge and expertise of the Czech MS organisation, Union Roska, in order to help people affected by MS in Poland.
Marta Szantroch, a representative of the Polish MS Association, said, “For many people with multiple sclerosis, the first days and weeks after the diagnosis are very hard. At this point in their lives they start to look for help – not only medical or psychological, but also for support from somebody who has shared similar experiences, who understands their situation and can offer advice.”
“A goal of the Peer to Peer project is to create a support network in which a person with MS who has learned how to deal with the challenges of MS can provide assistance to the newly diagnosed.”
“We are really excited about this project and the opportunity to build a strong and supportive community of people with MS in Poland.”