Mental Health Association in Butler County

Working Together for Healthier Minds

We believe in the healing power of friendship – of just one caring friend - is life changing for an individual striving for mental wellness. Loneliness, failure, fear, and loss of self-esteem are universal experiences of those who suffer from a mental illness. A caring friend can help restore joy and hope to a life that is often empty of both. We support mental wellness by connecting someone living with a mental health challenge with a caring friend who has similar interests.


Our community-based programs serve adults and veterans through

volunteer mentoring and supportive friendship programs. Our

programs are measured annually, and consistently show

improvement in an individual’s self-esteem, social skills, community

engagement, and overall quality of life.




Our Volunteers Make a Difference

If you know how to be a good friend, that is the primary quality we look for. Once you decide to become a volunteer, we begin our screening process to ensure that we provide the best possible matches for you. Volunteers can take on a variety of roles including one-to-one friendships, phone buddies, or social activity volunteers. You can do what comes most natural to you. Volunteers meet or talk with their Compeer friend an average four hours a month, roughly one hour a week. We can help find a volunteer opportunity that fits your schedule.


Eligibility Requirements

-Minimum age of 18.

-Complete a full background check (Criminal History Check – local police and fingerprint; Child Abuse Registry, National Sex Offender Registry) facilitated by Compeer.

-Complete an in person, phone, or virtual interview.

-Provide contact information for three individuals who will serve as a reference.

-1-year commitment.

-Driver’s license, vehicle, and insurance if transporting your friend.


If you believe that you can be a friend to someone, then you have what it takes to be a volunteer.

We would love to have you join today!




Participant Referral

· Participants can be referred by their therapist or intensive case manager if they have a primary diagnoses of an identified mental health disorder.

· Is receiving mental health counseling/treatment at the time of referral.

· Is in the recovery phase of their illness and is not verbally or physically aggressive and does not have thoughts to harm self or others.

· Participants generally:

    - Show an increase in their self-esteem, communication skills, social skills, interpersonal relationships, and

      positive risk taking (education and employment training).

    - Experience decreased psychiatric hospitalization rates, and use of emergency services,

    - Find it easier to comply with treatment plans and medication requirements.

    - Enjoy visits, phone calls, or e-mails with their Compeer friend.


To refer a participant, complete a Compeer Referral form.


Vet to Vet

                                                                   Many United States military veterans are combating mental and behavioral

                                                                   health problems, homelessness, physical disabilities, lack of community

                                                                   integration and acceptance, while other veterans have died by suicide.


CompeerCORPS provides one-to-one supportive friendships between veterans on the path to mental health recovery and veterans who are established in civilian life. CompeerCORPS is considered an adjunct to therapy that both reduces the overall cost to the current system of care and increases the effectiveness of clinical mental and behavioral health therapies.


A CompeerCORPS friendship is viewed as an enhancement to the well-being of a veteran who already participates in mental health care. CompeerCORPS can recreate the camaraderie that exists between veterans.



Volunteering As A Vet

The volunteer should submit an application if they are able to commit to the friendship connection for at least one year. The coordinator and provider of mental health services are available for ongoing support. The volunteer must be a veteran and be able to perform and adhere to the requirements as established by the CompeerCORPS Program as found in the Compeer Operations Manual. Additional volunteers are found by example of trusting and encouraging friendships experienced through the CompeerCORPS connections.


Are you are interested in becoming a Volunteer for the Vet to Vet Program?




Our Referral Process

When ready for a CompeerCORPS match, the veteran client can decide to join the CompeerCORPS program, with the understanding that their referring mental health provider will be a resource for the coordinator and volunteer and that a signed release of information is necessary. While the coordinator finds an appropriate match (based on likes, interests, experience, and availability) for the client, the client is encouraged to participate in Compeer community outreach and events. Once matched, the strength of the CompeerCORPS program is based on reciprocal communication between all participants, including the veteran client, volunteer, coordinator, and referring provider.


Do you know anyone interested in joining the Compeer Vet to Vet Program?


Compeer Stories

“We enjoy simple things, like a movie at home or watching the Steelers on TV.”


“My friend is a joy to be with and her pet birds are really special.”



“My Compeer friend keeps busy by helping with chores in the apartment building where he lives. He calls me to let me know when it will be a good time for us to get together.”


“As a volunteer, he has been an inspiration to me. He is kind and caring, and my friend forever.”



“We have been Compeer friends for 8 years. Through laughter and sadness, we have a trust in each other that will never end.”


“My friend is married and I have adopted a grand-child during the time, since we were connected in friendship with the Compeer Program.”


“We make plans to get together for lunch, share our stories, experiences of good times and troubles. Compeer is as easy as being a friend.”

Join Us!

You Can Make a Difference!

Please contact Elaine Callihan, COMPEER Program/Volunteer Coordinator

Phone: 724 - 287 - 4083 Ext. 232




140 North Elm Street

Butler, PA 16001


Local Phone Numbers:

(724) 287 - 1965

(724) 287 - 3380


Toll-Free Number:

(1 888) 329 - 0468

Fax Number:

(724) 287 - 7090


24 Hour Crisis Hot-line:



Suicide Prevention Hot-line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)