My BeST: Trauma Survivors’ Network

St. Michael’s Hospital has created a peer support group for survivors of traumatic injury, such as a car crash, fall, gunshot wound or work-related injury. Called My BeST (Beyond Surviving, to Thriving), the program connects survivors of physical trauma—including patients, their families and their caregivers—and helps them rebuild their lives after serious injury.

With the launch of My BeST, St. Michael’s became the first Canadian hospital to join the American Trauma Society’s network of peer support groups. As part of the American Trauma Society’s Trauma Survivors’ Network, My BeST will:

  • Provide valuable, practical information on recovery from traumatic injury
  • Connect survivors with support groups
  • Enhance survivor skills to manage day-to-day challenges
  • Develop online communities of support and hope for trauma patients and their families
  • Work with health care providers to deliver the best care and support to patients and their families

The support group meetings are open to any interested participants who have sustained or been affected by traumatic physical injury. 

One hospital staff member and one patient will co-lead our monthly, two-hour support group sessions. Meetings are expected to include open discussion, brief presentations from experts and education tailored to trauma survivor needs. Session topics and the meeting structure will be shaped and guided by survivor group participants and feedback. Potential topics include pain management, brain injury, advocacy, alternate therapies, and optimizing sleep.

Meeting dates alternate between day and evening sessions to accommodate participant’s schedules. Meetings are held:

  • Monthly on the third Wednesday of the month 5 - 7 p.m.
  • Every other month on the first Thursday of the month 7 - 9 p.m.
  • Every other month on the first Friday of the month 10 a.m. - noon

All meetings take place at St. Michael's Hospital, 30 Bond St., Toronto. The hospital is wheelchair-accessible from the Queen St. entrance, and all meeting rooms have elevator access.

Day Time Location
2019
Thursday Nov. 7 7 - 9 p.m. St. Michael’s, Room 6-002 Cardinal Carter Wing
Friday Dec. 6 10 a.m. - noon St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
2020
Thursday Jan. 2 7 - 9 p.m. St. Michael’s, Room 6-002 Cardinal Carter Wing
Wednesday Jan. 15 5 - 7 p.m. St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Friday Feb. 7 10 a.m. - noon St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Wednesday Feb. 19 5 - 7 p.m. St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Thursday March 5 7 - 9 p.m. St. Michael’s, Room 6-002 Cardinal Carter Wing
Wednesday March 18 5 - 7 p.m. St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Friday April 3 10 a.m. - noon St. Michael’s, Room 6-002 Cardinal Carter Wing
Wednesday April 15 5 - 7 p.m. St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Thursday May 7 7 - 9 p.m. St. Michael’s, Room 6-002 Cardinal Carter Wing
Wednesday May 20 5 - 7 p.m. St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Friday June 5 10 a.m. - noon St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Wednesday June 17 5 - 7 p.m. St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Thursday July 2 7 - 9 p.m. St. Michael’s, Room 6-002 Cardinal Carter Wing
Wednesday July 15 5 - 7 p.m. St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Friday Aug. 7 10 a.m. - noon St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Wednesday Aug. 19 5 - 7 p.m. St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Thurs Sept. 3 7 - 9 p.m. St. Michael’s, Room 6-002 Cardinal Carter Wing
Wednesday Sept. 16 5 - 7 p.m. St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Friday Oct. 2 10 a.m. - noon St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Wednesday Oct. 21 5 - 7 p.m. St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Thursday Nov. 5 7 - 9 p.m. St. Michael’s, Room 6-002 Cardinal Carter Wing
Wednesday Nov. 18 5 - 7 p.m. St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Friday Dec. 4 10 a.m. - noon St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing
Wednesday Dec. 16 5 - 7 p.m. St. Michael’s, 3-015 Bond Wing

The function of this support group is to empower trauma survivors by connecting them with other survivors and helping them develop skills to manage day-to-day challenges.

St. Michael’s is one of the province’s major resources of care for critically ill patients and is one of only two adult trauma hospitals in Toronto. As such, the hospital is working to distinguish itself as Canada’s premier critical care research hospital. In its 2015-2018 Strategic Plan, St. Michael’s outlined its goal of excelling in the care of critically ill patients. My BeST is one of the projects that has come from that work.

For more information, please email mybest@smh.ca.

Location

St. Michael's Hospital, 30 Bond St. Toronto. Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, 209 Victoria St., Toronto.