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Connections: The therapeutic benefits of friendship for people with mental illness


Nearly 44 million American adults experience mental illness in a given year, yet only about 60 percent receive treatment. The stigma surrounding mental illness keeps many adults — and youth — from asking for help.

Compeer Rochester is working to change that; the organization says there’s strong evidence behind the therapeutic value of friendship. Compeer offers mentoring programs where adults and youth struggling with mental illness are matched with community members.

We talk to members of the program who say it has changed their lives. Our guests:

  • Dana Frame, executive director of Compeer Rochester 
  • Jim Sedita and Steve Smock, adult match at Compeer Rochester 
  • Joshua, youth match at Compeer Rochester 
  • Dr. Stacy B. Killings, Psy.D., crisis therapist at Strong Memorial Hospital and school psychologist at Gates Chili High School
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