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Compeer Programs

Compeer programs serve adults, older adults, veterans, youth – plus their families -- through its volunteer mentoring and supportive friendship services, incorporating evidence-based practices and policies, best practices for recovery, and innovative peer mentoring to meet the diverse needs of communities.

Compeer works as a complement to psychiatric therapy for people in recovery from mental illnesses and emotional challenges. Screened, trained, monitored and caring volunteers provide social support through friendship and advocacy, by being positive role models, and by providing opportunities for educational and recreational activities. These volunteers commit to weekly meetings with their friends of at least an hour for a minimum of one year, sharing decision-making about activity, place, and time.

Compeer Adult Program

Compeer’s core service is its Adult Program, which matches a referred adult client with a community volunteer in a one-to-one friendship. Friends meet for four hours monthly to share activities such as walks, movies, sports, and cultural events. Time spent together by the friends occur in the community, in natural and safe environments.

Compeer makes its friendship matches based on gender, age, and interests. Newly-referred individuals and those not yet matched are immediately provided opportunities for social connectivity and community inclusion through invitations to monthly and annual activities, such as life-skills development, wellness initiatives, civic programs, events and celebrations. Do you like to picnic, walk, visit libraries, play chess, go to ball games? Compeer friends do all these things, and so much more!

Compeer Calling, our second most-used service, provides a volunteer to a client as interim support while waiting for a one-to-one match. Pen Pals and E-Buddies programs provide Adults who are on the Compeer engagement list support via written correspondence from Compeer volunteers. These connections involve regular phone calls and/or emails, and provide a virtual but vital link to someone who cares.

Volunteers teach life-enhancing skills, such as job readiness, money management, computer literacy, health and nutrition, community gardening through Compeer Skillbuilders group programs.

Visit our Locations or Social pages to find out about Compeer Adult programs in your community.

Compeer Youth Program

Compeer has been providing mentoring relationships to youth with emotional challenges since 1978. The Compeer Youth Program matches screened, trained, monitored and caring community volunteers who mentor a youth in a one-to-one relationship for one year, meeting weekly to share interests, attend events, and provide positive, consistent support.

The most important role of Compeer Youth Program volunteer is to be a mentor, not a therapist, chauffeur or entertainment director. A mentor is a caring adult who is willing to be a nonjudgmental listener to a youth in need of attention.

Love fishing or playing “Go Fish”? Reading or building bookshelves? Gardening, shooting hoops, or knitting? There’s a Compeer youth who’s waiting to learn from someone. This someone could be you, already ready to change a young life by simply being a Compeer volunteer mentor.

Other opportunities available at select locations include Lunch Buddies, a one-to-one mentoring program in which volunteers meet with youth matches at school during lunchtime, or Pen Pals and E-Buddies for youth. These two offerings similarly provide mentor support via regular written communication.

Visit our Locations or Social pages to find out more about Compeer Youth programs in your community.

Compeer Older Adult Program

The Compeer for Seniors program in Buffalo serves as the model for our Older Adult Program, which serves adults 60+. Compeer for Seniors annually provides volunteer friends to about eighty older adults who might otherwise be isolated.

As with our other one-to-one programs, community volunteers who have been screened and trained, and are monitored monthly are matched with a Compeer Older Adult, and agree to meet one hour weekly for a year.

What are some of the typical things these Compeer friends do each week? They go to garage sales…Have lunch…Play board games…Learn new crafts…Share stories and interests.

What else might a volunteer in the Older Adult Program do? Because some older adults with mental illness may struggle with multiple functional issues, Compeer volunteers advocate for their friends to help them access and link to other services, often providing transportation and companionship.

Our Older Adult Program is one more way that Compeer keeps people connected socially and to their communities.

CompeerCORPS Veterans Program

Camaraderie. Support. Friendship. CompeerCORPS builds on these values that exist among veterans by matching military veterans in one-to-one peer relationships to support transition to family, home, community. The match works both inside and outside the healthcare system, reducing barriers to the challenges of homecoming for veterans, their families and caregivers by using the healing power of friendship.

Our trained veteran volunteers meet once a week for at least an hour. CompeerCORPS friends broaden interests and hobbies, bring their spirit of service to their local communities, bridge generational gaps among veterans, and so much more. How do barbecues, game-playing, hiking, ride-sharing to appointments, joining in a civic project sound? There are endless things our CompeerCORPS veterans enjoy.

If you are a veteran who wants to get involved, or know someone who needs support, Consider CompeerCORPS. There are currently locations in N.Y.S. and Pennsylvania. For information on how to start a CompeerCORPS program in your community, call 800-836-0475 or email