Compeer awarded nearly $2.2M in federal grants

Congressman Higgins and Compeer Buffalo Announce $2,175,000 in Federal Grants for Mental Health First Aid Training and Mentorship Programs


Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) has announced two federal grants awarded to Compeer Buffalo to strengthen their mental health assistance programs. The grants total $2,175,000, and were awarded by the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP).

The first grant, from SAMHSA, will expand Compeer’s Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainings. It awards $375,000 to be implemented over a three-year period in $125,000 increments and will allow Compeer to provide the eight-hour trainings to 2,250 people. This is in addition to the 750 individuals already slated to be trained over an overlapping two-year period thanks to funding from the Peter & Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, Patrick P. Lee Foundation, PH Collaborative, and Garman Family Foundation. Compeer Buffalo is now the largest provider of MHFA training in Erie County.

The second grant, for $1,800,000 also over three years at $600,000 per year, comes from the OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Compeer was the only recipient in New York State to receive funding through the Department of Justice Multistate Mentoring Program and one of just nine recipients across the country. The funding will allow Compeer Buffalo to expand their Youth Program to up to 10 of their affiliates nationwide. The Youth Program provides mentoring relationships to young people with mental health challenges, matching them with trained volunteers to foster one on one mentoring and friendship.

Congressman Higgins said, “These important grants will go a long way in continuing and strengthening Compeer’s nationally recognized mental health services here in Western New York. They have an excellent record of providing trainings and matching those diagnosed with mental illness with trained volunteers to develop supportive relationships.”

“We care about bringing awareness to the importance of our mental health and reducing the stigma which sometimes goes along with reaching out for help,” Rep. Tom Reed said. “Compeer does a great job at this, and we were happy to team up with Brian to ensure Western New York has increased fair access to the resources they deserve.”

“The needs in our community and nationally around mental health is sky rocketing for all age groups, especially our youth. Compeer is thrilled to have been awarded these two very competitive grants.  The Mental Health Awareness Training grant will allow us provide training to over 2,000 people in Erie county over the next three years who work directly with youth and adults.  Our Mentoring Opportunities for Youth grant will allow us to expand our evidenced based Youth program to 11 Compeer affiliates nationwide thereby serving over 1,000 more youth who need our services,” said Compeer CEO Tim Boling.

Compeer has been a leader in providing mental health services as well as professional training in the Western New York region since its founding in 1973. Compeer Buffalo utilizes the power of volunteer friends to improve the lives of children and adults who are striving for good mental health. Through consistent and caring relationships formed between volunteers and their friends, a sense of belonging, trust and positive self-esteem is fostered in the people referred for our services. Compeer Buffalo is a member of Compeer, Inc. an international organization of 50+ affiliates headquartered in Buffalo, NY.

Coverage on this announcement can be found at the following:

Buffalo Business First
WBFO-FM 88.7
Niagara Frontier Publications

Patrick P. Lee Foundation Awards Compeer $50,000 grant

PPL Foundation logo GOOD


Compeer West Inc. is proud to be recently named as an award recipient for a $50,000 grant from the Patrick P. Lee Foundation. The grant will be used to fund Compeer’s Mental Health First Aid program.

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training teaches the skills needed to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be undergoing a mental health problem, substance use problem, or experiencing a crisis. There is also a youth-focused curriculum of this training that focuses on helping youth who are experiencing the same issues. Youth Mental Health First Aid trains those who work, volunteer or live with youth aged 12-18 to learn the unique signs and symptoms of mental health problems, and how to help in a mental health crisis. The training provides a 5-step action plan to those trained so they can respond appropriately in any situation. 1 million people across the United States have been trained in Mental Health First Aid by a dedicated base of more than 11,800 instructors.

The Patrick P. Lee Foundation, which started in 2007, concentrates its grant-making in to two key areas: education and mental health. By targeting funds and identifying opportunity for cross-systems work, the Foundation seeks to have an immediate and measurable impact.

First Niagara Grants $175K for Mentoring Programs

An Article from Buffalo Business First

Nine nonprofit organizations in Western New York are in line to share a combined $175,000 in grant funding as part of First Niagara Financial Group Inc.’s annual youth mentoring program.

The recipients — which are the same nine groups that received First Niagara awards in 2014 — include: Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northtowns of WNY; Compeer of Greater Buffalo Inc.; Buffalo Prep Inc.; Junior Achievement of Western New York; Seneca Street Community Development Corp.; Youth Mentoring Services of Niagara County Inc.; Hillside Work – Scholarship Connection Inc.; Boys & Girls Clubs of BuffaloInc. and Be a Friend Program Inc.

The funding flows through the charitable arm of First Niagara (NASDAQ: FNFG), First Niagara Foundation, whose Mentoring Matters program has given more than $7.25 million in financial support to mentoring programs across its four-state footprint. The program started in 2007.