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Referring Your Client

friends at a cookout

Dear Mental Health Professional,

PLEASE NOTE: Referrals open on Monday, 02/05.

Our organization serves as an extra layer of support for individuals receiving mental health service. We currently offer 1-to-1 community-based mentoring (via both phone and in person), school-based mentoring*, and higher education mentoring*.  

*If you are a referral partner at one of our partnering school districts or higher education institutions, please use the client application link that was provided to you by Compeer staff. For questions, please contact Ashleigh Cieri, Director of Programs, at ashleigh@compeerbuffalo.org. 

We believe that our volunteers, through the healing power of friendship, contribute to the mental well-being of those we serve.

Please review the Client Eligibility Requirements, Client Referral/Intake Process and Partner Responsibilities before proceeding with your full application.

All Compeer clients, matched with a volunteer/mentor and waiting, are encouraged to attend our social activities programming. A bi-monthly activity newsletter will be sent to them. 

To proceed with submitting an application on behalf of your client, please click on the application link at the bottom of this page. 

Compeer currently offers four programs, which include:

one to one mentoring

One-to-One Friendship:

This program pairs an adult, youth, or veteran client with a mental health diagnosis with a trained volunteer. They meet one-on-one for at least four hours each month.

peer to peer mentoring

School-Based Mentoring*:

This program promotes good mental health among students through supportive mentoring and friendships. The goal of the program is to build relationships among one another and and improve behavior and attitudes. Students develop trust through regular meet-ups, empathetic listening, and problem-solving focused on empowering students to make healthy and positive choices.

social activities

Social Activities:

Compeer offers structured opportunities for clients and volunteers to socialize, engage in new activities, and meet new friends.

school group mentoring

Group Mentoring:

Compeer staff lead these groups, which meet weekly. Groups are tailored to specific populations, including adults, youth (school-based groups), and veterans.

*If interested in this program for your district, please contact us to discuss.

Eligibility Requirements


  • · is age 6 or older
  • · has a primary diagnosis of an identified mental health disorder, and if they also have a developmental disorder it is not the primary diagnosis
  • · is receiving mental health counseling/treatment at the time of referral
  • · is interested in receiving services from Compeer
  • · is in the recovery phase of their illness and:
  •     –   is not verbally or physically aggressive
  •     –   does not have thoughts to harm self or others
  •     –   is not acutely suicidal

Phase 1- Referral Received

Compeer will contact the Referring Professional to begin the referral eligibility review process within 10 business days.

Phase 2 – Registering

Eligible referrals will complete the intake process, which may take approximately 2 weeks to complete. Follow up documents will be sent to client for completion and are required to finalize registration process in the Compeer program.

Within 2 weeks, ineligible referrals will receive formal notification to both the client and referring professional. At this time, the file is closed.

Phase 3- Compeer Member!

Registered Compeer members will receive a welcome packet and can begin attending social activities. Confirmation of this will also be sent to referring professional.

For more information on the 1:1 community-based referral process, please contact Hayley Kasprzycki, Client Engagement Coordinator, at (716) 883-3331 ext 322 or hayley@compeerbuffalo.org.  

Match Process

When a client is accepted and is interested in a 1-to-1 friendship, matches are made based on several factors such as age, culture, personality traits, interests, level of client need, level of experience of the volunteer, and geographical location. The information you provide in the application will help us make the best possible match, so being as thorough as possible is helpful.


Based on compatibility matching, it is difficult to predict how long it will take to find an appropriate volunteer for your client. Once a client is accepted into the program, they are eligible to attend our free social activities while waiting to be matched and can continue participating in these activities during and after their match has ended.


Volunteers and clients in our 1-to-1 friendship program are committing to a 1-year friendship. While it may last longer at both the client and volunteer’s agreement, this is not an expectation.


Compeer staff help support the ending of a match, and the client then graduates from our 1-to-1 program! They are welcome and encouraged to participate in Compeer’s social activities as long as all Compeer partners believe it is continuing to support their mental well-being!

Compeer Partner Responsibilities


• Recruits, interviews, screens and trains volunteers before they are matched and gives ongoing support and training during the match


• Monitors the volunteer and client relationship via phone/email and monthly update forms and will advise mental health professional of any concerns that may arise. 


• Gets to know the client via communication at time of referral, Compeer events, and checking in by phone. 

Referring Mental Health Professional

• Available to answer questions that Compeer may have to help determine the most successful match for the client and volunteer.


• Available to discuss issues of concern throughout the duration of the match.


• Notifies Compeer of any changes in client’s mental health, mental health provider, or contact information.


• Notifies Compeer if they end services with the client, whether matched or waiting.


• Provides a secondary mental health professional contact if they will not be the primary point of contact for Compeer.


• Completes the annual Compeer survey. 

Client (and Parent/Guardian if applicable)

• Supports the referral.


• Commits to participating in visits with their friend.


• Commits to working in partnership with Compeer and sharing their voice about how things are going.


• Commits to completing annual Compeer survey.


• Agrees to completing all necessary intake paperwork.



• In person mentors spend approximately 4 hours per month with their friend, which includes a combination of in-person, phone and virtual contact.


• Phone buddies make one phone call per week to their friend, over the course of 1 year or until matched in an in person friendship.


• School-based mentors spend approximately 1 hour per week with their student at school (in person or virtually).


• Group Activity volunteers interact with clients on a fluid basis as often as clients attend Compeer’s social activities.


• Volunteers complete an interview, background checks, and training prior to being approved in the program.


• Volunteers are responsible for submitting a monthly update of time spent interacting with their friend. They also complete the annual Compeer survey.