Program Effectiveness

Kansas Compeer Programs

The following ten Compeer Programs provide services in forty-four Kansas counties: Compeer Program of East Central Kansas, Emporia; High Plains Mental Health, Hays; Mental Health Association of Reno County, Hutchinson; Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, Lawrence; The Guidance Center, Leavenworth; Southwest Guidance Center, Liberal; Pawnee Mental Health Services, Inc., Manhattan; Franklin County Mental Health Clinic, Inc., Ottawa; Breakthrough House, Inc., Topeka; Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas, Wichita. Compeer provides a trained volunteer to serve as a mentor or friend to a child or adult receiving mental health care treatment. The professionally managed Compeer Programs seek to alleviate the community isolation and loneliness often experienced by youth with severe emotional disturbance (SED) and adults with severe and persistent mental illness. This is accomplished through volunteer outreach efforts involving social/community support in a non-therapeutic setting. All Kansas Compeer Programs are affiliated with the Internationial Association of Compeer Programs, located in Rochester, New York.

Most programs are able to provide services at less than the national average of $1200 per match per year. This amount includes staff time for recruiting, screening, training volunteers, and supporting the friendships. Some programs offer monthly activities for their Compeer friends to facilitate participation and bonding. Educational events, public relations efforts, and presentations are provided to local businesses, agencies, and organizations by the Compeer staff and volunteers.

In 2002 we had 378 volunteers serving 461 children and adults. They spent 12,266 hours in service. There were no suicides and one individual was hospitalized. There were 312 individuals waiting for Compeer services.

Surveys sent to our mental health professionals, clients, and volunteers indicate that homelessness has not occurred with a client served by Compeer in Kansas, consumers, also, use less emergency room services, and more consistently adhere to their medication protocols while in Compeer.

When surveyed 92% of the clients, 73% of the parents, 81% of mental health care providers were satisfied with the Kansas Compeer Programs.

The Kansas Compeer Programs meet quarterly at various sites around Kansas. The programs are revisiting the five year strategic plan and updating volunteer trends. The Strategic Plan objective includes:

Kansas continues to rank third in the nation in terms of the number of Compeer Programs in the stae and number of individuals served. Only New York and Pennsylvania have more programs and/or serve more people.

For more information, please send email to
or call 1-785-242-3780.