Compeer News


 Affiliate News from Around the World


Compeer Program Wins National Reintegration Award


Compeer for Seniors, an older adult service of Compeer Greater Buffalo in N.Y. is the winner of the 2012 Lilly Reintegration Award for Social Support, given this year in partnership with the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. Compeer Greater Buffalo Executive Director Michele Brown and Director of Senior Services Sarah Stimm received the award during the Celebration of Excellence Awards Dinner on Monday, April 16 at the Hilton Chicago, Chicago, Ill.

Compeer for Seniors has been providing services to elders in Erie County since its founding in 1985. As a contract agency of the Erie County Department of Mental Health, Compeer is currently the largest provider of best practice and evidence-based friendship services to elders with a mental health diagnosis in Erie County. The agency provides a unique service to the community and is presently serving close to 100 seniors annually.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for our remarkable service which helps keep our aging seniors independent, healthy, and happy for as long as possible,” said Brown. “This achievement signifies the value of our work in the community, and acknowledges the wonderful commitment of our program volunteers and the healing power of friendship.”

In 2012, Eli Lilly and Company partnered with The National Council to present the Reintegration Awards, which has been a program supported since 1997 by Lilly. This annual award program celebrates the achievements of those in the community who dedicate themselves to improving the lives of individuals with serious mental illnesses. Winners receive a $10,000 grant, an inscribed trophy, airfare and hotel expenses for the awardee and a guest, and two complimentary tickets to the celebration. For more information, visit

The latest news.....
Read a special edition of the CompeeReview here.

CompeerCORPS is a vet-to-vet pilot program in Utica, Rochester, and now Buffalo, N.Y.

Listen: Program Manager Stacy Fogarty speaks about CompeerCorps here.

Read: Click
here to read the full story published by the Utica Observer-Dispatch about Compeer of the Mohawk Valley's vet-to-vet program.



Compeer Founder is Featured Alumna in College Publication

Bernice "Bunny" Skirboll is a featured alumna in a college magazine.

Kaleidoscope, published biannually by the Division of Advancement, the College at Brockport, State University of New York, recognizes Bunny's achievements with Compeer in the article "Bunny Skirboll: A Life Built Around Friendship."




Read the article here.


Michele Brown, Executive Director Compeer of G
reater Buffalo.

Dignity and Compassion Set Tone
Read Michele's reflection here.
Program and Director Celebrate Twenty-five Years

Spearheaded by Gertrude "Googie" Walsh Butler, a staunch mental health advocate and consumer, an advisory committee formed in 1984 to assess Compeer program startup in Buffalo.

The following year Compeer Founder Bernice "Bunny" Skirboll hired Michele Brown as coordinator for the new program which would serve Buffalo and all of Erie County. For the first ten years, Compeer Inc. administered the program and guided its growth.

"Under Michele's leadership, strong dedication, and professionalism, Compeer West grew in Buffalo and become its own agency in 1994," remembers Skirboll. "It has been a great joy and sense of pride for me to watch the tremendous growth, acceptance, and recognition of Compeer of Greater Buffalo under Michele Brown."


Compeer for Seniors Director Sarah Stimm and Compeer Greater Buffalo Executive Director Michele Brown with their 2012 Reintegration Award.
Boston University Study:

Study Finds Compeer Programs Help People with Serious Mental Illness Achieve Significantly Increased Social Support

Read the Boston University Study here.


Compeer Bright Spots is the place to find news about local Compeer programs. Check out some shining examples of our volunteers.
Read more
The latest edition of the CompeeReview, a publication of Compeer, Inc., is now available for download in PDF format. CompeeReview is published quarterly.

Making a difference

I coordinate COMPEER, a volunteer friendship program that provides social support and interaction between volunteers from the community and individuals with co-occurring mental health disabilities. 
Volunteers make an amazing difference in the lives of others, Currently there are 55 volunteers in the COMPEER program connected in a trusting friendship with 59 individuals in recovery of mental health disorders. 

Each volunteer cares about others less fortunate than themselves. They give back, more than can ever by written about, through their kind deeds and actions, supporting others in their community through the COMPEER program. 

The Mental Health Association of Butler County is extremely proud of each and every volunteer. Volunteers like Robert E. Freeman of Butler, who has been generous not only with his time but with his cash contributions as well. Since February 2008, Freeman has been connected in friendship with three different clients, and his good deeds, guidance and trusting relationship with these three individuals has had a positive effect on the social inclusion and social support to each one. 

Freeman is an inspiration to those who know him, especially to the COMPEER Friendship Program in butler County. 

He and all the volunteers are a gift to this community. Others should follow their lead.

Elaine Callihan
COMPEER coordinator
Mental Health Association in Butler County
Originally printed by The Butler Eagle, Butler County, PA on September 10th  2013