Purpose:

As an adjunct to therapy, Compeer provides people who are receiving mental health services with needed socialization and support, helping them live successfully in the community and reducing the need for hospitalization.

Services:

Compeer recruits screens and trains volunteers who agree to spend an hour a week for at least one year in a one-on-one friendship with a person receiving mental health care.  Chosen activities may include movies, bowling, going out for coffee, or sharing mutual interests.  MHA staff works with volunteers and therapists to develop appropriate matches and provides on-going monitoring and support.  Group socials, to which all volunteers and friends are invited, are held throughout the year.

Eligibility and Referrals:

The program is designed to meet the socialization and support needs of Cattaraugus County residents who are receiving mental health care.  Referrals are accepted from therapists, caseworkers, psychologists and/or psychiatrists.  A three-page referral and release form and a Community Support Service form are required as part of the referral.

An application form, with references, is required from all volunteers.  All volunteers are carefully screened prior to being matched with a referred individual.

Fee:  No fee to access this service.  Volunteers and their friends may incur costs for their own           activities.

Contact Person:

Tammy S. Querns, Compeer Director
Mental health Association, Inc.
Delaware Park Centre, N. Union Street, P.O. Box 833
Olean, New York 14760
Telephone: (716) 372-0208  Fax: (716) 372-0222
E-mail   
tquerns.mhacc@att.net