Compeer is named peer support program of the year

On March 8, Michael Baskin, Executive Director of the Greater Cleveland chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, announced that the Compeer Program has won its “Peer Support Program of the Year” award. The awards ceremony will take place Wednesday, April 13, 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown. 

The special guest speaker at the event will be Tracy Plouck, the newly-appointed Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health. Anyone interested in attending can receive details at the NAMI Greater Cleveland website:

The Far West Center and Compeer staff, members and volunteers are very honored to receive this award from NAMI Greater Cleveland. A peer support program is one in which the philosophy and goals are to get adults in recovery from mental illness involved in planning and participating in program activities.  

In the planning and participation, individuals meet supportive people, reconnect with past skills, learn new skills and gain positive self-esteem. In addition to these program benefits, adults in recovery receive opportunities to give back to the community. 

Compeer is very fortunate to have Jody Bell as our Peer Support Specialist. Jody is an enthusiastic planner and is multi-skilled. Her professional work experience in the Cuyahoga County Mental Health System is extensive. Last year, Jody won the Peer Advocate and Support Award from Cuyahoga County's Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board. 

In addition to Compeer, Jody is presently facilitating the “Peer-To-Peer Recovery/Education Course” each Friday, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the ADAMHS Board. Jody will go to Alabama next month to train new peer support specialists. Jody is an outstanding professional and a warm-hearted friend to all.

On March 10, United Way and Far West Center honored a Compeer volunteer, Josef Vyvoda of Westlake, as a “United Way Spotlight Volunteer.” Josef was recognized along with 32 other United Way Agency Volunteers at a meeting and luncheon.

Josef has been in a Compeer Match with Norm, a gentleman in recovery, for many years. Josef offers support to Norm, his family, and every Compeer member he meets with. Please visit and read about Josef and the other United Way Agency Spotlight Volunteers. 

Compeer at Far West Center is a dynamic program. In Compeer, the staff, members and volunteers put positive and health oriented ideas into action! Compeer offers an encouraging network of friends and meaningful activities in order to promote self worth and optimism. If you would like to join us please call 440-835-6212, ext. 242, or email:

Denise Ayres

Denise Ayres is the Compeer Program Coordinator.

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 10:00 AM, 03.22.2011