Summer volunteers needed for Compeer support team

The Compeer Program at Far West Center is located in Westlake on the St. John Medical Center Health Campus. This Compeer Program serves adults throughout Cuyahoga County who are in recovery from mental illness. In addition to being a longstanding Westlake and county-wide organization, our program is part of Compeer Inc., an international organization with headquarters in New York state. Every branch of Compeer Inc. recruits outstanding volunteers to encourage and support individuals as they are coming out of depression and isolation. 

We believe there are outstanding people among the Westlake | Bay Village Observer readers that would enhance our program’s team of supportive volunteers. If you are an adult that has four hours per month to spend giving back and socializing with others then you are someone we would like to recruit! 

The required skill set for volunteers is simply listening, kindness, and offering friendship. The schedule is amazingly user-friendly because YOU get to set it. Each individual volunteer sets his or her own schedule.

Compeer volunteers are not required to be crisis counselors or problem solvers. We already have both of those at Far West Center. In fact, each adult member we serve is required to already be linked to a counselor, case manager and doctor. Compeer program staff are the liaisons between members, volunteers and mental health services providers. All volunteers receive ongoing support and advice from Compeer staff. 

You don't need to know about mental illness and mental health services to become a volunteer. We will provide individual training at any level of knowledge regarding mental health. Compeer focuses on the person and not the illness. In that way Compeer is similar to any social organization. We like to say that Compeer has a focus on the “healthy” part of mental health recovery. 

Often underestimated is the power of sharing a cup of coffee, phone conversation or a warm smile with a person who is isolated. For our members, just knowing that someone wants to talk to them and is happy to see them has transformed lives. We have seen it! We suggest that you take a look at the Compeer Inc. website,, and read stories about the power of friendship and its impact on recovery. 

Please contact our Westlake office at Far West Center if you have some interest or questions about joining our team of supportive volunteers, phone: 440-835-6212, ext. 242, or email: If you call, you will hear some of the interesting and fun events scheduled for our volunteers and members. Our summer quarter schedule starting in July is full of a lot of fun activities at low to no cost!

Denise Ayres

The Compeer Program has been serving adults that are managing mental illness from our Far West Center office fo almost 21 years! The Compeer Program is a branch of Compeer, Inc., an international organization. Compeer matches adult volunteers with same gender adult consumers of mental health services to provide friendship, emotional support, and encouragement.

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Volume 4, Issue 13, Posted 10:19 AM, 06.26.2012