How often do you call upon your friends to get a bite to eat or a cup of coffee? Maybe you go see a movie or just chat on the phone to feel connected and supported.
You can be the friend for someone experiencing a mental health challenge. Having a friend can make all the difference to someone who feels anxious, sad, or lonely. Becoming a volunteer with Compeer allows you to provide support to someone in our community.
Compeer mentors are matched in a 1-to-1 friendship with a child or adult living with mental illness who have found themselves socially isolated. Most commonly, our program participants live with a diagnosis of anxiety or depression. Their isolation could be the result of any number, or combination, of life circumstances. A Compeer Mentor helps them socially, by being a positive role model, helping raise self-esteem, increasing social and communication skills, and encouraging independence.We believe mental wellness starts with friendship.
We offer matches with youth (ages 6-17), adults (18-59) and older adults (ages 60+) living in Erie County, New York. We have an affiliate in Niagara County as well and we would be happy to connect you with them!
Mentors must be 18 years of age with a valid driver’s license and complete a screening process requiring reference checks and a background check, which includes fingerprinting. Mentors are asked to spend four hours per month with their friend and commit to one year.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, visits with your friends are flexible- from virtual and phone visits to in person visits adhering to specific guidelines (as indicated by local, state, and CDC guidelines).
Promoting good mental health through meaningful friendships.
Compeer Buffalo operates four core programs, each focusing on friendship and supportive relationships to encourage mental wellness. These include one-on-one volunteer mentoring, group mentoring social activities, school-based mentoring, and Mental Health First Aid training. Volunteers become positive role models, help raise self-esteem, increase social and communication skills, and encourage independence for their Compeer friends. The relationship between volunteers and their friends encourages a sense of belonging, trust, respect, hope, support, and empowerment.
The Compeer model of one-to-one support is an evidenced based program that was recognized in 2007 by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - a branch of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - as an evidenced based program under the National Registry of Evidenced based Programs and Practices (NREPP).