Count on Compeer of Johnson County Concert…and Dessert Reception!

Here’s a shout-out about Compeer of Johnson County and the upcoming fundraiser concert and dessert reception, The Sound of Friendship on February 28th, 2015. COMPEER is a local organization that works to match volunteers from the community with persons being treated for a mental illness, thereby creating one-to-one relationships aimed at reducing the loneliness, isolation and social stigma that nearly always accompany these often misunderstood psychiatric disorders.

Did somebody say “dessert reception?”

Jo Bowers and Rachael Edelen CoMeBeh Care Managers in Red Pants!

Jo Bowers and Rachael Edelen CoMeBeh Care Managers in Red Pants!

I got this message yesterday from The CoMeBeh Lady, Jo Bowers. C’mon, you remember CoMeBeh, the Collaborative Medicine and Behavioral Health (CoMeBeh) Clinic here at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics?

Jo Bowers and Rachael Edelen wore red pants for the blog post about CoMeBeh back in November 2013.

What about those socks?

What about those socks?

Anyway, the Compeer program is a pretty big deal in Johnson County and it’s in its 12th year of existence. If you look up peer support programs for those coping with severe mental illness alone, you’ll find a great deal of support for them [1].

Jo tells me that the revenue from this concert provides approximately one third of their operating budget.

Did I hear something about desserts?

GHHS PinIf you’ve got a friend you can count on, you’ve got gold.


1. Davidson, L., et al. (2012). “Peer support among persons with severe mental illnesses: a review of evidence and experience.” World Psychiatry 11(2): 123-128.
Peer support is largely considered to represent a recent advance in community mental health, introduced in the 1990s as part of the mental health service user movement. Actually, peer support has its roots in the moral treatment era inaugurated by Pussin and Pinel in France at the end of the 18th century, and has re-emerged at different times throughout the history of psychiatry. In its more recent form, peer support is rapidly expanding in a number of countries and, as a result, has become the focus of considerable research. Thus far, there is evidence that peer staff providing conventional mental health services can be effective in engaging people into care, reducing the use of emergency rooms and hospitals, and reducing substance use among persons with co-occurring substance use disorders. When providing peer support that involves positive self-disclosure, role modeling, and conditional regard, peer staff have also been found to increase participants’ sense of hope, control, and ability to effect changes in their lives; increase their self-care, sense of community belonging, and satisfaction with various life domains; and decrease participants’ level of depression and psychosis.

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