Spinal cord injury survivors find themselves facing new challenges every day; these challenges are best understood by people who are going through similar experiences. SCI support groups provide the emotional support SCI patients and their families need to cope with the challenge of SCI. Support groups are a great way to make new friends and to learn about SCI.
Different SCI support groups focus on different aspects of coping with SCI. For example, some groups offer special separate meetings for the family members and caregivers of SCI patients, while other groups have one meeting for both the SCI patient and his or her family. Some groups focus on helping new SCI patients adjust to their new lifestyle, while other groups focus on offering adaptive recreational activities for people with SCI. It is a good idea to check out several groups before deciding which one to join; some people find it helpful to belong to more than one group.
We have tried to make the following list of SCI support groups in California as complete as possible. Since groups change meeting places and meeting times and may disband without notice, we advise you to call ahead before visiting a group’s meeting place for the first time.
If you cannot find an SCI support group, you may want to consider starting your own. The National Spinal Cord Injury Association can provide information on starting your own support group: http://www.spinalcord.org/chapters/index.php?stateid=5&list=3
Spinal Cord Peer Support Group
This group meets twice a week on Monday and Friday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
St. Jude Medical Center
101 E. Valencia Mesa Dr.
Fullerton, California, 92835
Please call ahead to register 714-992-3000 ext. 3631
PossAbilities Club at RONI (Rehabilitation Orthopedic Neurosurgical Institute)
This program offers free membership to anyone with a physical disability of any kind. The program’s goal is to give people with disabilities a sense of community. The program offers activities to reintegrate people with disabilities back into their community.
Rehabilitation Orthopedic Neurosurgical Institute
5333 Barton Road
Loma Linda, California, 92354
Willie Stewart, Director 909-558-6384 or PossAbilities@ahs.llumc.edu
Hoai Luong, Coordinator 909-558-6664
Long Beach Spinal Cord Injury Support Group
The Recreation Therapy Department at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center sponsors this group which meets on the second Monday of each month from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. The group shares resources and provides enthusiastic support to each other. You are asked to call ahead one week ahead of the meeting to let the group coordinator know you will be attending.
Crystal Bracy or Linda Schaefer 562-933-9043
Acute Rehabilitation Dining Room
2801 Atlantic Avenue
Long Beach, California, 90806
Northridge Hospital Spinal Cord Injury Support Group
This group meets every Thursday from 3 to 4:15 p.m. You are asked to please call ahead to make sure there will be a place for you in the group.
18300 Roscoe Blvd
Northridge, California, 91328
Phone: 818-885-8500 Ext. 3656
CRPF Orange County Support Group
This group is for people with SCI and their families. The monthly group meetings are facilitated by a licensed therapist and peer support counselors.
Call for more information.
Melinda Emery 949-661-2592
Suzanne Short 949-499-4099
This goal of this organization is to support the best possible life for people with spinal cord injuries. WYNGS sponsors support group meetings in English and Spanish at four area hospitals and offers peer counseling visits to people with new or recent spinal cord injuries. WYNGS also provides wheelchairs, hospital beds, and other adaptive equipment to people who have no insurance and could not otherwise afford the needed equipment. WYNGS is a member of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association.
7900 Nelson Rd.
Panorama City, California, 91402
Michele Altamirano 818-267-3031 or email@example.com
Greater Placerville Region Support Group
This group was founded by SCI survivor Lynn Murray in 2007. At the time, the nearest SCI support group was at UC Davis, a long drive from Placerville. The group meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month around 6:30 p.m. The group is growing; members enjoy the informal tone and camaraderie of the meetings. People with any form of physical disability that requires the use of a wheelchair are invited. Tips on coping with being in a wheelchair are shared and the group enjoys sharing information about adaptive sports activities.
Marshall Community Health Library
681 Main Street, Suite 103
Lynn Murray 530-417-1457 (cell) or 530-626-1967 (home) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern California Spinal Cord Injury Support Group
This group is a member of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. It meets on the second Monday of each month from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation
255 E. Bonita Ave.
Pomona, California 91769
Contact: Michele Altamirano, WYNGS 818-267-3031
Participants in Progress
This is a peer support group for people with any type of physical disability. The group hosts monthly outings. Please call for more information.
Participants in Progress
P.O. Box 162426, Sacramento, California, 95816
SCI Support Group, UCDMC (UC Davis)
This group is for people with SCI and their caregivers. The weekly meeting includes guest speakers, educational support, peer support, and community resources. The group meets each Wednesday from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Please call 916-734-5522 for reservations and to request free child care if needed.
UCDMC, Ambulatory Care Center, Rm. 3030C
4860 Y St.
Sacramento, California, 95817
Contact: Holly email@example.com or Jennifer 916-734-3467
Challenged Women’s Support Initiative (CWSI)
This group welcomes women and men with physical disabilities of all types, as well as family members, caregivers, and anyone who is interested in supporting the physically challenged. The group meets every second Wednesday of the month. The meeting is from noon to 1:30, but participants are asked to please arrive by 11:30 a.m. in order to check-in. For those unable to attend the meetings, the group also offers telephone and e-mail peer support and education.
Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women
3003 Health Center Drive, San Diego, California, 92123
Contact: Mary Thompson 858-939-6709 or Mary.Thompson@sharp.com
Men’s Spinal Cord Injury Support Group
This group is led by Richard Green, MSW, who is the Lead Social Worker at the Sharp Rehabilitation Center. The group meets twice a month at 3:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month.
Sharp Memorial Hospital
Re-Entry Classroom (Conference Room #3)
7915 Frost St.
San Diego, California, 92123
Richard Green, MSW 858-939-3156
Sonoma County Spinal Cord Injury Outreach and Activities Project
This peer support group is dedicated to helping people with spinal cord injuries stay as healthy and fit as possible. Common health issues pertaining to SCI are discussed and tips and resources are shared. The group, which is sponsored by the CRI/ Christopher Reeve Project for Health and Wellness, meets twice a month. The meeting on the first Wednesday of the month is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and the meeting on the third Wednesday of the month is from 3 to 5 p.m. All are welcome.
Earle Baum Center
4539 Occidental Rd
Santa Rosa, California,
Winston Johnson 707-545-3011
Spectrum of Abilities
This group in the Bay Area is dedicated to social gatherings and support for all LGBT and S people with physical disabilities, and their caregivers, family, and friends.
13500 Quito Road
Saratoga, California 95070
Grant 650 996-8316
Support Group for Disabled Women
This support group for women with various physical disabilities is led by Ann Herman, a Social Worker who has been a C6/7 quad for thirty years.
Ann Herman 858-541-3171