Compeer Program gains listing in national mental health registry

The Compeer Program at Far West Center in Westlake has been creating friendships, promoting mental health and wellness, and changing lives since 1989. Compeer, an international non-profit organization, serves to empower individuals in their paths to recovery from mental illness. In Compeer, trained community volunteers are matched, one to one, with same-gender adults committed to mental wellness treatment services that assist them in managing symptoms. Compeer volunteers offer friendship and encourage socialization in order to decrease the isolation that too often accompanies mental illness. 

On June 12,  all Compeer Program affiliates were contacted by Johanna Ambrose, CEO of Compeer Inc., and sent a press release that stated “the Compeer Program Model has been added to the SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.”  SAMHSA stands for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration which is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices is a searchable online database of substantiated evidence-based mental health and substance abuse programs. This means that the research results submitted on the beneficial effects of the Compeer Program on mental health recovery are recognized and suggested by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

“Compeer has brought healing friendships to thousands of people around the world,” said Bernice Skirboll, who founded Compeer in 1973 and serves on Compeer Inc.’s board of directors. “The inclusion of our model in the NREPP supports our efforts to improve the lives of individuals and families living with mental illness.”  Bernice Skirboll started the Compeer Program Model in 1973 after she observed how acts of friendship and interpersonal communication appeared to increase the opportunity for mental health recovery. Compeer now has 55 chapters in the United States, Canada and Australia. Compeer at Far West Center is included in the 55 chapters.

People who are interested in learning additional information about Compeer Inc. can visit their web site at Compeer at Far West Center is listed on this website under “Locations.” 

Compeer at Far West Center is looking for more adult community members to join our program and become Compeer volunteers. Volunteers are able to schedule their volunteer time around their other weekly activities. Our community Compeer Program also offers a schedule of weekly facilitated social activities for Compeer volunteers and members. Most activities involve going to community places like parks, Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream, Frankie’s Pizza and free outdoor concerts.

The Compeer Program at Far West Center served over 120 people this past May. Our program is looking for adult volunteers that can assist with the Compeer mission in our communities. Our program office is located at Far West Center, a nonprofit mental health services agency located on the St. John Medical Center Health Campus in Westlake. To receive more information on our program and to become a “Compeer Volunteer” please call 440-835-6212, ext. 242, or email

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 5, Issue 14, Posted 9:49 AM, 07.09.2013