Compeer Program celebrates friendship, connects with resources, fights stigma

On Friday, August 27, 2010, The Compeer Program held its Annual Summer Picnic at Clague Park in Westlake. On that beautiful summer day many of our Members, Volunteers, and Staff enjoyed a celebration of friendship. Members and Volunteers worked together in the planning, setting up, grilling, cooking and game schedule for the picnic. Our picnic included hot dogs, hamburgers, salsa made from home grown vegetables, refreshing sherbet punch, and many homemade desserts! There was so much to enjoy. Along with good food there were horseshoe games, a large volleyball game, and lively conversation in the sun!

The Compeer Program wants to express a special thank you to Caribou Coffee of Westlake for their generous donation of coffee and their ongoing support of our events.

The Compeer Program is developing a workshop with the Westlake Porter Public Library to teach Compeer Members and Volunteers how to access resources and information on the Internet. The workshop will teach basic Internet searching and emailing skills. It will be very beneficial for Compeer Members to be able to search for information related to various Compeer Clubs, such as gardening techniques, cooking recipes for our veggies, music, exercise, recreation, pets and community events. Dates and times for these workshops will be listed in the Fourth Quarter Compeer Calendar of Events, starting October 2010.

Compeer gives a special thanks to Library Director Andrew Mangels for his support for the Compeer Program. Mangels is the first community leader to create “Annual Compeer Night” at the Porter Public Library. The second annual Compeer Night at the Westlake Porter Public Library was held May 18, 2010.

The Compeer Program tries many ways in our local communities to end the stigma still surrounding mental health issues.  Mental health is something we all strive for, all of us. The issues of severe mental illness touch every family in some way or form. Some of us have a family member or friend in recovery from mental illness.

Others are now beginning to experience the depression that accompanies unfortunate events in this tough economy, like unemployment. As most of us know, these are the real ways mental health issues relate to our daily lives. The reality of mental health issues is much different than the exaggerated, stigmatizing drama portrayed on television or movies. 

The Compeer Program Members and Volunteers will participate in the 8th annual NAMIWalks, hosted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Cleveland, on October 2, 2010. If you are interested in joining us at this event or donating to our Walk Team Campaign please call us at 440-835-6212, ext. 242. Jody Bell and I would be happy to answer any of your questions.

The Compeer Program at Far West Center is still in need of adult volunteers to share their time, compassion, and friendship with adults in recovery from mental illness. If interested please call us at the aforementioned phone number or visit

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Volume 2, Issue 18, Posted 6:11 PM, 09.02.2010