Compeer member celebrates his successes

This winter as the snow falls and the temperature drops, our focus is on keeping warm. We defrost our vehicles and de-ice our sidewalks. Unfortunately, for some, wintertime increases isolation and depression. During every season, adults in recovery from mental illness are more prone to isolation due to the harmful stigma that exists.

The Compeer Program provides encouragement to socialize, welcoming support, and opportunities to engage in interesting activities. These services help adults to recover.

Terry, one of our members, has regularly participated in Compeer. Along his path to recovery he has developed motivation and made friendships. Terry has also set and accomplished personal goals. This month, Terry agreed to allow me to share some of his successes.

For years, Terry has designed and constructed unique birdhouses. Some of his designs include boats, planes, tanks and helicopters. This winter, Terry set a goal to broaden his artistic woodworking skills. He started designing, building and painting wooden butterflies. They are painted in colorful outdoor paints to withstand the weather. Terry researches natural butterfly patterns to use for his sculptures. We are working with local organizations to display Terry's artwork throughout the community.

Terry has used his artistic talents to engage in meaningful activity, remain motivated and focus on the positive. In addition, Terry's butterflies bring a smile to our faces  and brighten a chilly winter day. His butterflies remind us that spring and summer always return.

During his participation in Compeer, Terry has become more outgoing. This once shy and depressed man now makes us laugh with his clever comments. On Feb. 14, Valentine's Day, Terry and his girlfriend will celebrate their one-year anniversary!

Along with his wood art, Terry continues working on additional goals. Terry completed vocational training, volunteers at a nursing home each week, and is job searching. Terry has been dedicated to improving his diet and becoming a healthier person with diabetes.

Our Compeer Program at Far West Center congratulates Terry on his successes. Compeer members and volunteers celebrate them along with Terry. He is well on his way to giving back to his community.

The support Compeer can provide to adults in recovery requires our volunteers. Volunteers are essential to how Compeer helps others. Compeer needs many more volunteers. If you are 18 or over and have four hours a month to offer friendship, please join us. Compeer volunteers make their own monthly schedules. Please call Denise and Jody at 440-835-6212, ext. 242, or email:

Denise Ayres is the Compeer Program Coordinator.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 2:58 PM, 02.04.2011