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Just because you live in a state without an in-person spinal cord injury support group doesn’t mean you're out of luck. Many spinal cord injury support groups offer virtual participation. From support groups organized by hospitals to support groups from nonprofit organizations, read on to discover the best virtual spinal cord injury support groups available.

 

Virtual Hospital SCI Support Groups

 

Mount Sinai

One of the most well known as spinal cord injury hospitals in the New York area is Mount Sinai. They offer a variety of virtual support groups and classes to improve the quality of life of those with SCI. They offer 9 different classes Monday through Friday, each an hour long, and they can be accessed via Zoom.

Their classes include Meditation, Sitness! SCI Exercise class, SCI Transitions Support, Woman on Wheels, Family Support, Sitness! SCI Boxing Class, Virtual Zumba Zoom, Adapted Boxing and their SCI Peer Support, which is every Friday from 12-1pm. To see descriptions of their support groups and classes and to request a Zoom link, visit Mount Sinai’s Support Group Page: https://labs.icahn.mssm.edu/brycelab/weekly-virtual-events/

 

Helen Hayes Hospital

Helen Hayes Hospital is a hospital in the New York area that also offers virtual support for people with spinal cord injuries. Their Spinal Cord Injury/Amputee Support Group is a phone-only support group that meets every Wednesday at 6:00pm EST. This support group is open to people with spinal cord injuries and their families and friends. To join, call 845-786-4258 at 6:00pm and use the password 1234 to enter.

 

Shepherd Center

The Shepherd Center in Georgia is considered one of the most prestigious spinal cord injury hospitals in the world. Fortunately for those who do not live nearby, they offer virtual participation of their support groups. Shepherd Peers is their support group for people with spinal cord injuries. They also offer support groups for those with limb loss, caregivers, people with brain injuries and those who’ve had Myelitis.

To take part in their support groups virtually, contact Pete Anziano at 404-350-7373 or pete.anziano@shepherd.org. Phone and e-mail participation is also possible.

 

Jim Thorpe Rehab Hospital

In Oklahoma, the INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital has been providing quality support and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injuries for decades. They offer several support groups as well. Most of their support groups take place in the INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe rehabilitation Building, which can be joined virtually.

Their Spinal Cord Injury Survivors Support Group meets the first Thursday of every month from 5:30 to 7pm CST. To take part in the support group, follow the link for the Integris Virtual Support Group: https://vidyo.integrisok.com/flex.html?roomdirect.html&key=qIiZbOtB03si4kFxdHilpfMVyE&_ga=2.58501610.1900129689.1506267504-386131523.1505492042

After installing the necessary software, you'll need to enter your name to enter the meeting. If you have any questions, please contact at Nate.Draper@integrisok.com. For more information on virtual support groups offered by Jim Thorpe, visit this link: https://integrisok.com/locations/rehabilitation/integris-jim-thorpe-rehabilitation/support-groups

 

Non-Hospital Virtual SCI Support Groups

 

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Hey Peers!

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation has offered in-person peer support, as well as support over the phone, for years. They now offer virtual peer support which was launched in 2021. Using the Hey Peers! virtual platform, used by some of the world's biggest nonprofits, they offer support groups for people with quadriplegia, paraplegia, as well as family members and caregivers.

Each support group is led by two facilitators: a mental health professional and someone with a spinal cord injury. Their support groups meet twice a month and in the evenings, around 6 or 7pm EST, making it easy for those who who work during the day to attend. To learn more and to register for support groups from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, click here: https://www.heypeers.com/organizations/99#list

 

SCI Boston

SCI Boston, also known as the Greater Boston Chapter of the United Spinal Association, offers 11 virtual support groups for people with spinal cord injuries on a wide variety of topics. The support groups are: Women with SCI, SCI Nutrition, Significant Others, Spanish Speakers, Newly Injured, "After Dark" Discussions for Female Significant Others, "After Dark" Discussions for Men with SCI, SCI Discussion Group, Friends and Family, Children of a Parent with SCI and "After Dark" Discussions for Women with SCI.

To find the Zoom links and other information needed to join (as well as a phone number if you do not have a computer), click here: https://www.sciboston.org/groups. You can also email them at heidi@sciboston.org

 

SCI BC’s Reach Out! Peer Support

Spinal Cord Injury BC (British Columbia) is a well known spinal cord injury organization in Canada. They offer a virtual peer support group called Reach Out! To see their upcoming support group meetings, follow this link: https://sci-bc.ca/reach-virtual-peer-support-group/. At the bottom of the page, find "Upcoming events." Click on an event to access the Zoom link.

 

Triumph Foundation Support Groups

One of the biggest SCI foundations in California, the Triumph Foundation, offers a popular spinal cord injury support group called Life Series. Some meetings occur weekly, and others monthly, and all have discussions about living with a spinal cord injury. Although their support groups occur at various hospitals and rehabilitation centers in Southern California, each meeting offers a Zoom link so anyone can join no matter their location.

Most of the Life Series support groups occur in the morning or afternoon on a weekday. To see when these groups meet and to access the Zoom link, click here: https://triumph-foundation.org/virtualscisupport/