Making Connections after Brain Injury

A Guide for Social Peer Mentors

This manual answers your questions about what being a social peer mentor to a person with a traumatic brain injury is all about. It is a resource to help you come up with social activities and to help the person with a TBI make and keep friendships.

This manual covers:

  • Description of the mentor’s role
  • General information about brain injury
  • Information about common problems experienced after brain injury with ideas on how to help
  • Development of skills
  • Ideas about social activities
  • Worksheets to plan social activities
  • Providing feedback about social communication
  • Response to an emergency or problem situations
  • Resources

By clearly describing what a mentor is and is not, readers gain a clear understanding of the ground rules for this relationship. The manual gives a clear description of the causes and consequences of a traumatic brain injury, including physical challenges, cognitive (thinking) changes, and changes in emotions and behaviors.  Written in language that lay persons can readily understand, it explains what happens when the brain is injured and how it may affect the person.  There are lists of suggestions for peer mentors to use with the individual that are practical for use at home and in the community.

Peer mentors can help individuals with TBI improve the skills that so often contribute to their loneliness and isolation.  The manual provides practical tips and step by step instructions on finding activities in the community, improving initiation and planning,  accessing transportation, making budgets, improving social communication skills and keeping track of mentoring activities.  Becoming a peer mentor can make a difference in the life of an individual with a TBI and the life of the mentor – this manual shows you how to do it!


Margaret A. Struchen, Ph.D.
DeLisa West, Ph.D.
Niki Cannon
LaTricia Eckenrode
Patricia Backus, CCC-SLP
Shawn Jaffrey, CTRS
Melissa Gautreau, B.S.
Jerome S. Caroselli, Ph.D.
Lisa Keenan, Ph.D.

Baylor College of Medicine

This program is sponsored by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Dept. of Education, for the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Integration of Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury (Grant#: H133B031117).

Lash and Associates is distributing these publications via free downloadable PDF files. Users may print and download publications and are encouraged to inform others of this resource by referring them to 


Making Connections after Brain Injury: A Guide for Social Peer Mentors

By Margaret A. Struchen, Ph.D., DeLisa West, Ph.D., Niki Cannon, LaTricia Eckenrode, Patricia Backus, CCC-SLP, Shawn Jaffrey, CTRS, Melissa Gautreau, B.S., Jerome S. Caroselli, Ph.D. and Lisa Keenan, Ph.D.


One response to “Making Connections after Brain Injury”

  1. Mindy McClaran says:

    Grade 3 anaplastic oligodendroglioma brain 0Cancer surgery. Also considering as a traumatic brain injury.

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