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Community Ment Health J. 2008 Oct;44(5):359-66. doi: 10.1007/s10597-008-9137-8. Epub 2008 May 15.

Increasing social support for individuals with serious mental illness: evaluating the compeer model of intentional friendship.

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The Albert & Jessie Danielsen Institute at Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.


We conducted a quasi-experimental study of Compeer, which matches community volunteers and people with SMI to increase social support. Seventy-five adults with SMI received community psychiatric treatments-usual (TAU) while 79 adults received Compeer services plus TAU. Compeer clients reported significant improvements in social support and a trend towards improved subjective well-being. After 6 months, social support increased >1 SD for 13%, increasing to 23% at 12 months, supporting qualitative research suggesting the "active ingredient" in intentional friendships often takes more than 1 year to develop. This subgroup of responders showed significant gains in subjective well-being and reductions in psychiatric symptoms.

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