The History of the Compeer Program

Compeer, Inc.originated in Rochester, New York. The Program began in 1973 as "Adopt-A-Patient", a project of the Rochester Mental Health Association. The original program served residents at the Rochester Psychiatric Center; a state operated impatient mental health facility.

By April 1976, the program had grown to 35 active volunteers, became recognized as a unique volunteer program, and was supported by 15 area foundations. In 1977, the program name was changed to "Compeer," which means, "companion" or "peer," to better reflect the mission. In 1984, the Rochester Compeer program became an independent agency, Compeer, Inc.

In 1982, Compeer secured a grant from the National Institutes of Mental Health to develop Compeer programs across the United States. Rochester, New York now serves as the headquarters for the International Affiliation of Compeer Programs (IACP) with over 10 programs inside and outside the United States.

The Compeer Program has received local, state, and national recognition, including: