Compeer celebrates 25 years of compassion and friendship

Compeer Match Nancy and Amanda have been friends since 2010.

The Compeer Program at Far West Center is celebrating its 25th year of offering compassion, friendship and ending isolation for individuals managing recovery from mental illness. In 1989 Far West Center began the Compeer Program which is an affiliate of the international organization Compeer Inc. headquartered in Rochester, New York. Compeer at Far West Center is one of over 60 Compeer affiliates throughout 11 states, Australia and Canada.

Our program has its home base on the health campus of St. John Medical Center. Starting in Westlake and radiating throughout Cuyahoga County, our program has brought hope and a sense of belonging to a countless number of adults diagnosed with mental illness. 

Compeer at Far West Center has had the good fortune of having a great number of giving people that have shared their time and compassion serving as volunteer mentors. We have volunteers that have been with Compeer since 1989. The majority of volunteers chose to stay in our program for many years.

There are some common reasons such as the friendships that began as mentoring become real friendships that benefit both the members and the volunteers. Volunteers see the growing hope and increasing confidence of the individuals with which they are matched that came as a result of their volunteer services. There is also the active social events schedule that offers monthly ways to connect to community places while having fun. 

What do Compeer friendship matches do together? I certainly do not have enough space to list everything! Our current program matches are getting together to play games, have coffee, walk dogs, see movies, discuss the Bible, relax at meditative retreats, see sporting events, visit galleries and museums, enjoy local concerts and plays, find budget-friendly places to shop or dine, pick apples, ride a hay wagon and roast marshmallows, and many more uplifting activities. The goal of each match is friendship. The other benefits are experiencing new places, meeting people and laughter! Did I yet mention that each individual Compeer Match makes their own time schedule? 

Through the years Compeer has been an active part of the Westlake and Bay Village communities. The Bay Village Green Team welcomed Compeer to take part in the launch of their Community Garden. Compeer is volunteering at the Book Nook at Westlake Porter Public Library, the Lutheran Home at Concord Reserve, and the Gardens at Westlake. Compeer volunteered at the North Coast Challenge event held at St. John Medical Center.   

Compeer will be celebrating 25 years of friendship at our Holiday Party this December. Our program gives a big heartfelt thank you to St. Ladislas, Bob Hertl, and Carol Taylor for donating the best hall to hold a Compeer Party. Among our guests will be many recovery success stories and regained confidence made possible by compassion and friendship.

Be part of Compeer at Far West Center in 2015! Call Denise and Holly at 440-835-6212, ext. 242

Denise Ayres

The Compeer Program has been serving adults that are managing mental illness from our Far West Center office beginning in 1989! The Compeer Program is a branch of Compeer, Inc., an international organization with an evidence based program model. Compeer matches adult volunteers with same gender adult consumers of mental health services to provide friendship, emotional support, and encouragement. Denise Ayres, Compeer Program Coordinator, is a Licensed Social Worker with many years of working in adult mental health services.  Holly Henderson, Peer Support Specialist,is certified as a state Peer Counselor.

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:36 AM, 12.09.2014