Making Friends and Changing Lives

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Compeer of Suburban Philadelphia

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Compeer making friends! Changing Lives!

Compeer matches caring adults in one-to-one, co-equal friendships with people of the same gender who are in mental health recovery. We encourage volunteerism among caring adults and support from the local community. We also train, guide and monitor volunteer relationships with Compeer friends.

Compeer currently supports friendship matches in Delaware County. Because of Compeer friendships, people are registering to vote, celebrating holidays with others, and reintegrating into their communities with the help of their volunteer friend. That's the good news.

The bad news is that many people in the counties we serve are on a waiting list for a volunteer friend. These people are isolated, lonely, economically disadvantaged, and are part of the community mental health system. They may lack family contact or experience severe depression.

Compeer friendship is as simple as going for a walk, having a conversation, going to a movie or picking up the phone. Through Compeer, a volunteer can help change someone's life for the better and it's just as simple as being a friend.

A Compeer volunteer is a man or woman who shares a friendship with someone socially isolated by mental illness and economically disadvantaged. He or she is a sensitive person who understands and accepts someone who may feel misunderstood or rejected. Compeers spend at least four hours a month together, seeking to have weekly contact wherever possible.

Compeer matches are based on mutual preferences, and volunteers receive comprehensive training.


WHAT IS THE COMPEER PROGRAM?

"Compeer" means a companion who is also a peer or equal. Loneliness, failure, fear and loss of self-esteem are universal experiences of those who suffer from a mental illness. A caring friend can help restore joy and hope to a life that is often empty of both. Compeer is a non-profit program which matches caring, sensitive, and trained volunteers with mental health service recipients in one-to-one friendship relationships.

WHO ARE COMPEER VOLUNTEERS?

Compeer volunteers are individuals of all ages, walks of life, races, and religions who enjoy companionship and helping people. Many of them have had experiences with loneliness and difficult times in their own lives, which enables them to bring a special understanding to the Compeer relationship. They are screened, trained, and matched by Compeer and the referring therapists. The volunteers must also submit references to help assure reliability and consistency.

WHAT DO THE VOLUNTEERS AND FRIENDS DO TOGETHER?

They agree to get together for four hours a month, for at least one year, to participate in activities they both enjoy doing. Some possibilities include:

sharing a pot of coffee movies

window shopping museums

attending free concerts plays

walking sporting events

playing cards/ games church events

In addition to having fun together, the volunteer may be able to advocate on behalf of their friend concerning housing, disabilities, etc. The volunteer is not a therapist but a friend who becomes a helpful part of the mental health team.

HOW DO I GET A COMPEER VOLUNTEER?

Anyone currently involved in mental health therapy (in a hospital, day treatment program, mental health clinic, rehabilitation program or with a private practitioner) can request a referral to Compeer from his/ her therapist. Compeer will then make every effort to arrange a volunteer as quickly as possible.

For more information, please call: Compeer 1-800-564-PEER


SIX WAYS TO VOLUNTEER

1) One-to-One Friendship - 4 hours a month
2) Compeer Calling Volunteer - 10-15 minutes a week
3) E-Buddy Volunteer - contact primarily through email, texting, and/or electronic communication
4) Pen Pal - written correspondence ( letters, cards ) at least twice year month to offer support
5) Member of Compeer Advisory Board - volunteer serves to help on the Compeer Advisory Board to give input and decision making. Advisors meet four times a year.
6) Grant Writing supporter and reviewer

Please call us at 610-541-0790 or email us at olga@compeerfriends.org for more information

4 More opportunities with Compeer of Suburban Philadelphia

About Compeer of Suburban Philadelphia

Location:

411 Dartmouth Ave., Swarthmore, PA 19081, US

Mission Statement

Compeer friendship is as simple as going for a walk, having a conversation, going to a movie or picking up the phone. Through Compeer, a volunteer can help change someone's life for the better and it's just as simple as being a friend.

A Compeer volunteer is a man or woman who shares a friendship with someone socially isolated by mental illness and economically disadvantaged. He or she is a sensitive person who understands and accepts someone who may feel misunderstood or rejected. Compeers spend at least four hours a month together, seeking to have weekly contact wherever possible.

Compeer matches are based on mutual preferences, and volunteers receive comprehensive training. Click on "Matching Process" below for a complete overview.

Compeer serves Delaware Counties and Montgomery.

Description

COMPEER VOLUNTEER JOB DESCRIPTION:
Importance of Position to a mentally Ill Person: Befriending a person managing a mental illness, and offering regularly scheduled, supportive companionship is vital for these consumers; you help them to enjoy a more productive life, prevent costly rehospitalizations, and promote their recovery. Your time is very valuable to consumers of mental health services.

Qualifications:

Positive motivation to be of help to another person
Good listening skills
Reliable - keeps commitments
Sensitive to needs and characteristics of mentally ill people
Responsible to: Compeer Program Director

Responsibilities:

Complete one Compeer Orientation session
Establish & maintain friendship with matched friend of the same gender
Submit required monthly reports to Compeer Office

Training Provided:
Orientation to persons with mental illness, types of disorders and treatments, communication skills (listening, empathy, etc.,), limit setting and expectations.

Benefits of Volunteering:
Make a new friend while being of service
Make a real difference in the life of a mentally ill person
Opportunity to achieve personal goals


Time Commitment:
Four (4) hours per month, at least weekly contact with friend, in person or by phone

Length of Commitment:
A minimum of one year

Grounds for Termination: Failure to carry out assigned responsibilities or work within the program guidelines.

Volunteer Application can be completed at
http://www.compeerfriends.org/VolunteerApplication08.pdf

Contact Person:
Program Assistant
Compeer of Suburban Philadelphia
610.541.0790
http://www.compeerfriends.org/

WHEN

We'll work with your schedule.

WHERE

411 Dartmouth Ave.Swarthmore, PA 19081

(39.90226,-75.34924)
 

SKILLS

  • Mental Health
  • Psychology
  • Veteran Care
  • Fundraising
  • Grant Writing / Research
  • Social Work

GOOD FOR

N/A

REQUIREMENTS

  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • 1 year

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