Register now to express your interest in the Circle of Support Pilot Program
We are pleased to announce that our pilot peer support program – Circle of Support – is now open for Member to express their interest and chat with a Peer Mentor to find out more!
The program is available to all IDFA Members with a recent diagnosis, as well as Members experiencing isolation or other challenges managing their Immunodeficiency.
While we have always offered peer support as needed, Circle of Support will now offer one-to-one peer mentoring to any of our Members.
Members will be able to chat with a Peer Mentor about issues related to their Immunodeficiency or that of a family member. Regular contact can then be arranged as needed to work towards personal goals and actions to improve quality of life and support self-management.
If you’d like to express interest in this program, please fill in the form below and IDFA staff will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Or to find out more view our Circle of Support FAQs here.
Circle of Support - Expressions of Interest
Why participate in Circle of Support?
Connect with a Peer Mentor who can get to know your journey and help you work though issues impacting your Immunodeficiency.
Be empowered to work towards your personal goals for wellbeing, treatment, social connection and lifestyle
Receive free, personalised, holistic mentoring support to improve your quality-of-life with an Immunodeficiency.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Peer Mentoring?
Peer Mentoring is free support for IDFA Members to improve their self-management of treatment and wellbeing while living with an Immunodeficiency.
The aim of Peer Mentoring is to support Members to improve their quality of life.
Peer Mentors aim to:
- Connect with you to understand your personal journey and challenges
- Empower you to identify and work towards personal self-management and lifestyle goals
- Support you to develop skills to self-manage and self -advocate to maximise your wellbeing and quality of life.
Peer Mentors provide social and emotional support and Member directed health coaching and mentoring to build confidence to help you maximise your wellbeing living with your Immunodeficiency.
What experience do Peer Mentors have?
IDFA Peer Mentors are Members with lived experience managing their own Immunodeficiency or caring for another with an Immunodeficiency.
They have completed training to provide IDFA Circle of Support Peer Mentoring. This includes mental health and wellbeing, treatment options and working with healthcare providers, self-advocacy, managing fatigue and pain, options to manage the cost of treatment, managing work or study or other life transition impacting on your management, and supporting holistic self-management for immune health such as nutrition, sleep and physical activity.
Can I choose my Peer Mentor?
You will be matched to an IDFA Peer Mentor ideally in your state and territory. If you are a Carer, ideally you will be matched with a Carer.
A matched Peer Mentor will contact you at a nominated day and time so you can ask questions and find out more about them and the program.
You can then decide to continue with the program or find another Peer Mentor if gender or age is a strong consideration for you. You can discuss your specific needs with the IDFA team.
Do I have to participate for 12 weeks?
You can choose to receive Peer Mentoring support for a period of up to 12 weeks or less to focus on key areas. You can also choose to extend the Circle of Support period if needed in consultation with your Peer Mentor to focus on other self-management areas and update your Circle of Support Plan.
The program content is directed by Members. You can discuss with your Peer Mentor contact arrangements and goals and actions for your personal Circle of Support Plan.
What if I get sick or need to travel during the program?
The program is flexible and Peer Mentors understand the day to day challenges of living with an Immunodeficiency.
If travelling or managing study, work or caring commitments you can make contact arrangements to include in your personal Circle of Support plan.
Are my mentoring sessions private?
Yes. All contact with your Peer Mentor remains private and confidential. In the case that a Peer Mentor is concerned for your mental wellbeing they will refer you to relevant support services and your GP, and let IDFA know a referral was made. The Peer Mentor can also send any health or medical questions you may have to the IDFA Health Professional Advisory Panel and send you their response.
All Peer Mentors are IDFA Volunteers and abide by the IDFA Code of Conduct and Privacy and Confidentiality Policy.
What areas can I receive support?
Your Circle of Support Plan can include a wide variety of personal goals and actions. These may include mental health and wellbeing, treatment options and working with healthcare providers, self-advocacy, managing fatigue and pain, options to manage treatment and medication costs, managing work or study or other life transition impacting on your self-management, and supporting holistic self-management for immune health such as nutrition, sleep and physical activity.
You can also discuss any other areas impacting on your wellbeing with your Peer Mentor to include in your Circle of Support plan.
Your Peer Mentor will work with you to help you prioritise personal areas for support and develop a practical and realistic Circle of Support Plan for your Mentoring period to suit your personal circumstances.
How often can I contact my Peer Mentor?
You and your Peer Mentor will also discuss specific contact arrangements and these will be included in your Circle of Support Plan.
This can include weekly or fortnightly contact depending on Peer Mentor availability, method of contact and Member or Peer Mentor initiated contact.
Your assigned Peer Mentor will contact you for an initial introduction to the program and answer any questions you may have.
If you and the Peer Mentor decide to continue with the program and phone calls are the arranged method of contact you can call the Peer Mentor at agreed nominated times.
If video-chat is the arranged contact method, then the Peer Mentor will send an email or phone text message your video-chat session link for the arranged time and day. You are then required to join in the arranged sessions. Both Peer Mentors and participating Members can make flexible contact arrangements to also manage health care needs and work, study and caring commitments.