compeer program

Information taken from : http://www.vinnies.org.au/mental-health-in-compeer-act

Compeer means companion who is also a peer or equal.

Compeer is an award winning mental health volunteer program that helps break down the stigma associated with mental illness through friendship and social support.

 Friendship is a Powerful Medicine

Compeer is a volunteer support and social program that uses the power of friendship to help people with mental illnesses live happier, more satisfying lives. The program recruits, screens, and matches volunteers with people recovering from mental illness.

Many Compeer participants have experienced the devastating effects of mental illness resulting in loneliness and social isolation. The Compeer program is a compliment to traditional therapy. A Compeer friendship can make a substantial improvement in a participant’s self-worth – a key ingredient in bringing a person back into the mainstream of community life.

 Compeer

 Our Goals

  • To assist individuals with mental illnesses with their recovery through supportive friendships and community connections.
  • To help combat the stigma associated with mental illnesses by engaging community members in relationships with people who have a psychiatric disability.
  • To offer volunteers an opportunity for personal growth and satisfaction through helping others.

Being a Compeer Volunteer

The Compeer volunteer has the power to change the life of someone who is in mental health recovery stage through the power of friendship. Unlike most volunteer work, the Compeer experience allows one person to have a direct impact of the life of another. The Compeer volunteer engenders acceptance, empathy, nurturance and compainionship, and as a result, “Compeer friends” feel better about themselves as the relationship evolves.

The Compeer volunteer is an adult, who is over the 18 years of age, and gives a minimum of 4 hours each month for a commitment of a minimum of 12 months to build a friendship with someone in need.

 Screening and Training

Volunteer training is designed to communicate to prospective volunteers the guidelines and expectations of the program, and to prepare them to function effectively in their role as volunteers. The depth and quality of training and level of support from the Compeer Co-ordinator and health professionals provide the volunteers with the tools they need for their special “friendship”.

 Being a Compeer Friend

Compeer provides friendship opportunities outside a clinical setting, focused on matching people referred by their chosen health professional to be “matched” with a volunteer who is caring and compassionate.

Consumers are in the recovery phase of their illness and are referred to Compeer by their psychiatrist, counsellor, social worker, therapist, nurse, case manager, and general practitioners. Compeer provides rehabilitative social support that reduces isolation and lonelieness of people receiving mental health services.

If you are receiving treatment from a health professional and you have an interest in the Compeer program, please contact the Compeer Co-ordinator or ask your health professional to contact the Co-ordinator to obtain and application from our office.

mid week update – not much to tell…

All of Monday morning I had a sore stomach and felt nauseous all day.

On Tuesday I was feeling better and was only tired from going to bed around midnight.

I received my applications forms and police check forms for the voluntary compeer job.

I rang the lady who was the contact to ask if it mattered that I have depression and anxiety issues.

She advised that it definitely wouldnt be a factor that would stop me from volunteering.  Im glad she said that, I was a bit worried that I would be able to volunteer because of it.  I think suffering with these conditions is one of the reasons I volunteered.  I understand what it is like and also understand the stigma of having a mental illness in society.

She advised we would discuss it in the interview and they would have my therapist as a contact.  I advised her I dont have a therapist, that I control it only with medication.

If you get accepted after the interview, there is a two day course to complete.

Should be interesting.

Other than the compeer update, there is not much to tell so far this week. A bit blah really.

When I get home I just want to sleep (but what’s new), I guess going to bed after 11pm does not help.  I will have to try to get  to bed earlier.

I find it hard to go to bed early.  I always seem to find something to do to pass the time and end up going to bed late and cant get out of bed in the morning.

But other than that, this week has been OK.

Hope all your weeks are going OK.

zapped

Last night I didnt go to bed until about 1.30am.  I was watching a music video TV show and reading blogs.

Whenever I got up, I got really dizzy and eventually was getting zaps from behind my left eye to the top of my head (on the inside).

It took a few times for this to happen and when I went to bed I realised I forgot to take my medication.

The zaps started to get more intense, so the anxiety set in.  When I get anxious I scratch my neck and my sides from the bottom of the ribs and my waist.

I went back to bed thinking it would go away if I went to sleep, but then thought if I left it any longer, by the time I got up in the morning I would be feeling much worse.

So  I had to get up again and I had to take 15mg of Valium and the medication I missed and then went back to bed again.

After a half an hour or so, I was still anxious and couldnt sleep, so took another 15mg of Valium.

Because I have been on it for years, it takes more to actually kick in.

I finally got to sleep about 2.30am ish and woke up around 9,30am because Neo wanted to snuggle and get a belly rub.

So now I was awake, so decided to get up when the  belly rub and snuggle was finished.

Had a cuppa, read some blogs and got read to go out with bf.

We went to replenish my drugs, did a little shopping and then went to the Sydney Dogs & Cats Home.

I have signed up to volunteer every couple of weeks to help with the kitties.  There were only a few kitties there, because the day before they had 4 or 5 adoptions.  Good to hear.  The guy said it coming into kitten season, so are expecting more soon.

Now I have to wait to hear from the person in charge of the volunteers.

Im getting sleepy now, so a nap will be in order soon.

But first we are going to sit in the backyard with the kitties, as Morpheus loves us sitting with him in the backyard.

We are supposed to be going out with one of bf’s friends tonight to catch up and he wants to go out dancing after.  I dont know that we will go for that.

I dont plan big nights, they just happen, so we will see how we go.

Off to have a glass of Rose in the backyard with bf and the kitties. 🙂  It is a beautiful day outside 🙂