About Compeer of Johnson County, Iowa


How does Compeer work?

The Compeer Program matches community volunteers in supported friendships with adults who are receiving mental health treatment. Participants are referred to the program by their mental health professional. Community volunteers are screened, trained, and meet with the selected participant's mental health professional before they learn the identity of the client.  Once the Compeer Director and the client's mental health professional agree that this is a match with good potential for success, the Compeer Director introduces the pair. They spend time together for a minimum of four hours per month. The minimum commitment requested by Compeer is at least one year.

Compeer volunteers help provide rehabilitative social support, advocacy and companionship to their friend. This friendship brings new access to the community for participants. Volunteers gain a meaningful and rewarding friendship.  Both participants experience an enhanced appreciation of friendship.

Ongoing support is provided to enhance the volunteer's experience. Compeer of Johnson County serves only the adult population, so volunteers need to be 23 years of age or older.

Many of our matched pairs have lasting friendships that extend years beyond the original commitment.  Compeer friendships are deeply valued by both clients and volunteers.


Compeer of Johnson County, Iowa was established in 2000 and started making matches in 2002. As the community becomes more aware of the benefits of the program, support and participation have increased. In fiscal year 2019, we have 16 matched and 21 people on the waiting list. It is our expectation that the program will continue to grow and expand.

The first Compeer Program was established in 1973 in Rochester, New York. The National Institute of Mental Health chose Compeer as a model program in 1982 and funded the development of similar programs throughout the nation. Today, Compeer is a model mental health organization with over 60 affiliates in the United States, Canada and Australia. The compeer model is recognized as a best practice for mental health recovery by the American Psychological Association. In 2013 Compeer Inc., of whom we are an affiliate, is recognized by the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.