Compeer of Greater Buffalo, a non-profit, non-clinical social service agency that promotes positive mental health through meaningful friendships was awarded a grant for $25,000 from the Garman Family Foundation administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The grant will be used to provide Teen Mental Health First Aid training to 280 girls attending three WNY high schools. The grant also includes funds to support a mentoring program which was created to promote positive mental health for students through supportive friendship.

“We are thrilled to be awarded this grant to provide more training to support student populations,” said Tim Boling, Executive Director of Compeer of Greater Buffalo. “This training will help young women identify situations when friends, family, or fellow classmates may be experiencing a mental health crisis and provide them strategies to help. We thank the Garman Family Foundation for providing this much needed funding.”

Like First Aid and CPR, teen Mental Health First Aid teaches young people in grades 10-12 how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders among their friends and peers. The training gives teens the skills to have supportive conversations with their friends and get a responsible and trusted adult to intervene, if necessary. Generally, the training takes place in 45-60-minute increments over the course of 3-4 days.

Compeer has trained over 5,000 people in Western New York since 2014 in Mental Health First Aid and offers trainings throughout the community as well as other public and private institutions. Most recently, the Compeer team trained City of Buffalo employees. Funding from this grant will be used for instructors, workbooks, supplies, evaluation, and the overall curriculum.

About the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo: For more than a century, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has enhanced and encouraged long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. Established in 1919, the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. Learn more at

About Compeer: Compeer promotes good mental health through meaningful friendships. The agency was founded in 1973 and has become a model program as identified by the National Institute of Mental Health. Today Compeer Buffalo serves as the international headquarters for Compeer, supporting nearly 48 locations across the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Australia.

Compeer operates four core programs, each focusing on friendship and supportive relationships to encourage mental wellness. These include one-to-one volunteer mentoring, group mentoring activities, school-based mentoring, and Mental Health First Aid training.