Navigating Burn Community Resources - FAQs

Written by Pam Peterson, RN, BSN and James Bosch  on December 07, 2020

Getting Quality Treatment
Financial Health
Family + Friends
Trauma / PTSD

Every day, Phoenix Society responds to messages from burn survivors, their loved ones, and burn support professionals. Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

I’m all alone. How do I get support?

The first step is reaching out. When you get in touch with Phoenix Society, we can connect you with a peer supporter for one-on-one support. In person if possible, but phone or video calls are options, too. We’ll help you find the local burn community, if there is one, and you can check the Community Calendar for support groups and social events you can attend in-person or online.

Connection is important, and so is taking care of yourself. Build your confidence with Getting Back Out There: Tools for Social Empowerment and continue your emotional healing by reaching out to a local mental health professional. If you need help getting connected, Phoenix Society can help you find mental health support in your area.

How do I support a loved one who was burned?

Taking care of your loved one begins with taking care of yourself. Look into joining a local caregiver support group or check the Community Calendar for groups available online and in person. For one-on-one support, reach out to Phoenix Society or your local Phoenix SOAR program to be paired with another family member of a burn survivor. Continue your learning with tools like Supporting Burn Survivors: How You Can Help and other resources for loved ones and caregivers on Phoenix Society’s website.

I think I'm having symptoms of PTSD. What do I do?

Explore our Resource Center for more information about trauma after a burn. Reach out to Phoenix Society or your local Phoenix SOAR program to get connected with a peer supporter who has also experienced PTSD and check the Community Calendar for support groups you can attend in-person or online. Finally—and most importantly—reach out to a local mental health professional.

Join our resource directory

Phoenix Society is creating an online directory of local and regional resources offered by hospitals, foundations, and other burn organizations. Working together, we can connect burn survivors and their loved ones with the support they need to thrive.

Complete our survey ASAP to make sure your organization is included in Phoenix Society’s online directory of local and regional resources.

How can I get relief from itching?

That’s a great question for the PT/OT at your local burn center. If you’d like to learn more, explore articles on itching in our Resource Center. In support groups or peer support chat, you can find out how other survivors dealt with itching and share your frustration. You may also find relief through scar massage—Phoenix Society can refer you to a practitioner experienced working with burns.

How do I get help paying for surgery/dressings/supplies?

Unfortunately, Phoenix Society and many other burn organizations are unable to provide direct financial support. Reach out to your local burn center to see what resources they can connect you with. There may be services available based on financial need. It’s important to manage the stress of financial strain, so get emotional support from a peer supporter or by attending support groups online and in-person.

How do I remove or improve old scars?

Start by scheduling an evaluation at your local burn center to see what options are available for you. To do your own research on what’s out there, explore our Resource Center for more information about the many options for scar management. You can even connect with other survivors in support groups or peer support chat to ask what they’ve done and learn from their experience.

Where can I tell my story?

Telling your story is an important part of healing, and it’s a powerful way to make a difference. By attending support groups and participating in peer support chat, you can share your experience with survivors who need support. You can also submit your story to Phoenix Society's virtual open mic.

How do I become a peer supporter?

Reach out to Phoenix Society, and we’ll connect you with the nearest Phoenix SOAR program. To make sure you’re ready to give support, the coordinator will complete an interview and a multi-step screening process. If you’re in a good place to give back to others, you’ll complete peer supporter training and join the local peer supporter network. In the meantime, support groups and peer support chat are a great place to practice giving peer support by sharing your experience.

Community Calendar

Stay up to date with this central hub for in-person and virtual events happening in the burn community. From Phoenix Society’s webinars to your local support group, the Community Calendar is your one-stop shop for connection, education, and support. This calendar offers the latest information so you’ll never miss a chance to connect.

I'm doing really well. How can I give back to other burn survivors?

Giving back means something different to everyone, and Phoenix Society is dedicated to connecting you with meaningful opportunities to make a difference. You may decide to share your story, become a trained peer supporter, participate in a research study, or add your voice to a social media campaign for burn prevention or face equality. For a local impact, volunteer with your regional burn foundation or burn camp. You can also make a donation or dedicate a birthday fundraiser to Phoenix Society. However you decide to make a difference, stay involved and keep spreading hope through the burn community.

How can our burn center start a Phoenix SOAR program?

Get the process started by reaching out to Phoenix Society. You’ll need a letter of support from the Medical Director of your burn program, two Lead Coordinators (one of which must be a member of the burn team), and a financial commitment from your organization.

There is a one-time start-up fee of $3,000, which includes the necessary trainings and materials to get your program off the ground. After the first year, there is a $300 annual fee to maintain your status as an active Phoenix SOAR hospital. Your Lead Coordinators will be responsible for managing the program, including recruiting and training peer supporters, though Phoenix Society is always available if you need guidance.