Compeer awarded $374,000 from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to administer Mental Health First Aid training, now largest provider in Erie County

BUFFALO, NY – Compeer Buffalo has been awarded a $374,000 grant to administer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Over a three-year period, Compeer Buffalo will train 2,250 individuals in addition to the 750 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. Additionally, this allows Compeer Buffalo to bring their number of trained MHFA instructors to 12. Compeer Buffalo is now the single largest provider of Mental Health First Aid training in Erie County.

 

This particular grant will target training to veteran’s service providers; first responders; college students, faculty and staff; and WNY area K-12 districts, leadership and other service partners. This is in addition to other MHFA trainings offered by Compeer Buffalo available to the general public.

 

“The need in our community around mental health has been sky rocketing.  This grant will help us train over 2,000 people in the Mental Health First Aid program.  Those trained will be able to assist those in the community who may be having a mental health crisis and direct them to appropriate support and services,” said Compeer Buffalo CEO Tim Boling.

 

Similar to traditional First Aid and CPR, Mental Health First Aid is help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a crisis until professional treatment is obtained or the crisis resolves. Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based public education and prevention tool improving the public’s knowledge of mental health and substance use problems while connecting people with care for their mental health or substance use problems. People who enroll in local Mental Health First Aid courses learn a five-step action plan to help loved ones, colleagues, neighbors and others cope with mental health or substance use problems.

 

Compeer Buffalo currently partners with Erie Community College to train faculty, staff, students and community partners in MHFA thanks to a federal grant awarded in 2015. As a result, 460+ individuals were trained; 61 percent indicated they used what they learned with a student(s) within 90 days of training. More than 85 percent of participants felt equipped to recognize signs that someone may be dealing with a mental health problem, substance use challenge or crisis; felt that they could ask a person whether they’re considering killing themselves; and felt that they could reach out to someone who may be dealing with a mental health problem, substance use challenge, or crisis.

 

“The Mental Health First Aid Training has increased the level of understanding for faculty and staff when referring a student who is experiencing a behavioral health crisis.   For our students, this training has been an invaluable resource.  It has facilitated in the reduction of stigma and allowed students to have an open and honest conversation about behavioral health as well as increased their knowledge of intercampus and community resources that promote the completion of their educational pursuits.  We are very proud to partner with Compeer Buffalo in this endeavor,” said Erie Community College South Campus Dean of Students Heather Cruz.


ABOUT SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.


ABOUT COMPEER BUFFALO

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.

 

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Recognizing and Handling a Mental Health Crisis

as posted by news.wbfo.org

“Since the Parkland, Florida school shooting there has been a high demand for Mental Health First Aid training in our community.  As part of our Mental Health reporting initiative, WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley attended a Mental Health First Aid session at Baker Victory Services in Lackawanna.

First aid training for medical emergencies can be key in saving a life. But we lack training when it comes to handling a mental health crisis.

Compeer delivers a Mental Health First Aid session in a classroom on the Baker Victory Services campus in Lackawanna.
CREDIT WBFO NEWS PHOTO BY EILEEN BUCKLEY

 

“Everybody should go through the training at some point in their life.  I know it is a cliche – it can save lives – but it absolutely could,” said Timothy Boling, CEO, Compeer International

Boling tells WBFO News they’ve had a great deal of interest for their Mental Health first aid eight-hour training program, especially for educators.”

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Compeer Announced as Major Grant Recipient

Compeer is happy to announce that The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and the First Niagara Foundation, in partnership with KeyBank, announced on August 23, a $2.4 million grant to support the Western New York (WNY) Mentoring Collective, a cohort of nine mentoring programs throughout the region. This group includes Compeer and Say Yes Buffalo.

This large-scale investment in mentorship will utilize the expertise of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and its statewide affiliate Mentor NY to help create a learning community among Compeer and other proven local mentoring programs. The collective will benefit together from shared best practices, capacity building, mentor training, education and assessment support over the next two years.

To learn more about the grant, check out these articles!

http://www.ralphcwilsonjrfoundation.org/ralph-c-wilson-jr-foundation-first-niagara-foundation-partner-stregthen-grow-mentoring-across-western-new-york/

http://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/wilson-foundation-announces-2.4-million-for-new-york-youth-mentoring

 https://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2017/08/23/mentoring-collaborative-receives-2-4-million-boost.html

 

Compeer of Greater Buffalo Appoints New Chief Program Officer

Compeer of Greater Buffalo is proud to announce its recent hire of Cheri Alvarez, who joins the Compeer team as the Chief Program Officer.

Cheri graduated from Canisius College with her Master’s Degree in Counseling Education and proceeded to commit her career to working in the Western New York non-profit community for the past 19 years. Prior to joining Compeer, Cheri served as Chief Operating Officer at YWCA WNY, and the Chief Operating Officer at Cradle Beach. Her career also includes a leadership role at Catholic Charities where she served as the Coordinator of Closing the Gap (CTG) responsible for the oversight, development and implementation of site facilitators in the Buffalo Public Schools. At Gateway-Longview she rose through positions, ultimately serving as the Director of Foster Care and Permanency Services.

“Helping others is what motivates and energizes me. Joining a team of passionate people who believe in the benefits of bringing friends together to support good mental health, makes joining the Compeer family a perfect fit,” Alvarez said.

Cheri resides in Pendleton with her husband Carlos and their two children, Caleigh and Devin. She is also a Buffalo Business First “40 Under 40” awardee (2015), and a graduate of the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York Fellows program. Cheri will be taking on the new role of Chief Program Officer where she will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Compeer Buffalo’s programs, as well as, oversee the Compeer programs internationally. Compeer currently has 50 affiliates in three countries and eight states.

You Make a Difference. Compeer Makes It Easy.

Many thanks to our good friends at Step Out Buffalo, for their recent article on Compeer and what we do. Please take a read on the article below, and fill out our volunteer interest form and online application here on our website, if you would like to sign up with us to make a difference in the lives of others.

BY SOB CREATIVE FOR A GOOD CAUSE

Compeer

AT COMPEER, THE VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES ARE ENDLESS.

Compeer is an organization headquartered right here in Buffalo, NY that is making #friendshipgoals happen every. single. day.

These guys are on a mission to match volunteers and mentors in one-to-one supportive friendship relationships with children, adults, military vets, and seniors who are striving for good mental health.

Why? Because the healing power of friendship helps to change lives. That’s why chatting with your mom or grandpa or best friend can make you feel like you can take on the world, even when you’re having the toughest of days.

Here’s the thing – Compeer needs volunteers to do what they do, and a lot of ‘em! That’s where you come in. Do you like making new friends? Do you enjoy hanging out with people one-on-one, face-to-face, you know…. IRL? Maybe you’re a good listener, love sharing the ups and downs of your day with someone, or enjoy being in the company of others. If so, Compeer needs you.

What to Expect as a Volunteer

Compeer recruits, screens, and matches trained volunteer friends and mentors – anyone can sign up to volunteer and get trained! Compeer is always looking for Western New Yorkers to get on board, become positive role models, help raise self-esteem, increase social and communication skills, and encourage independence for their Compeer friends.

Compeer provides a fun, flexible volunteer opportunity that fits into pretty much anyone’s lifestyle, as they only ask for a minimum of one hour per week of your time. What you do with your Compeer friend is up to you two. Our personal favorite ideas include trying new coffee shops, window shopping, bowling, and Escape Rooms. Or, now that the weather has taken a turn for the awesome, maybe a nice walk in the park!

Volunteers will learn all about the best practices of being a good friend during training. And the best part is, the one hour a week you spend volunteering can really make a difference in someone’s life.

Join Compeer on their quest to bring people together in the name of good mental health by volunteering yourself! To learn more about how you can get involved go to compeerbuffalo.org, tell ‘em we set ya. 😉

https://stepoutbuffalo.com/you-make-a-difference-compeer-makes-it-easy/

Compeer Receives Mental Health Honor

Compeer of Greater Buffalo, dedicated to recovery through the healing power of friendship, received a Spotlight on Population Health (SOPHi) Award from P2 Collaborative of Western New York.

sophi-award_mhfa

In the category of promoting mental health, Compeer and its partner organizations, the Mental Health Association of Erie County, Jewish Family Service and Erie Community College, were honored for advocacy and education through the Mental Health First Aid program.

“The Mental Health First Aid program is truly a collaborative effort,” Compeer Executive Director Timothy Boling said. “Since we began delivering the program in April 2014, we have offered 87 trainings for 1,383 Mental Health First Aiders.”

Mental Health First Aid training teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training provides the skills needed to provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis. Mental Health First Aid is an international evidence-based program: In the United States, more than 700,000 people have been trained in by a dedicated base of more than 10,000 instructors across the country.

To learn more about Mental Health First Aid Training, call Karl Shallowhorn at 465-6508 or email karlmhacompeer@gmail.com.

 

Buffalo Healthy Living Magazine features “Thank You For Your Service” film screening

How Compeer’s Vet-2-Vet Program is making a difference written by Annette Pinder

On Wednesday, November 16th at 7:30pm, Compeer of Greater Buffalo (Compeer) will be hosting a special screening of the award winning film documentary “Thank You For Your Service”, starring Amy Schumer, at AMC Maple Ridge 8 Theatres in Amherst, NY. The film examines how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects American servicemen and women returning home from war.

Continue reading: https://www.flipsnack.com/7BBED9F569B/november-2016.html?p=20&b=1

Get your tickets today to attend this important film screening on military mental health
Get your tickets today to attend this important film screening on military mental health