We're happy to bring a guest post to you from our friends at Mental Health Association of Central Carolinas. Their evidence based Compeer Program brings benefits for everyone involved. Here's one story! Get more information about the program here.
“Being friends with Tracey has made me a more understanding and compassionate person. She has an unconditional devotion to her friends and inspires me to be a better person with all of my relationships,” said Ashley who became a Compeer volunteer in 2007. Tracey shared, “Ashley is a great friend, she’s understanding and listens well. We get excited when we share good news with each other and we hear each other’s problems. She also inspires me to get creative.”
Tracey is an artist and a storyteller. Ashley said, “I have enjoyed seeing Tracey grow as a person. She has taken her artwork to another level and has sold many of her pottery pieces at various events. She always amazes me with the new illustrated stories she comes up with and I love reading them all.” Tracey says Ashley has helped build her confidence. “I trust people more because of Ashley and actually have more friends now because of our friendship. She’s very positive in my life; she remembers the things that are important to me.” Tracey says that her health has improved in several ways during their friendship. “She lifts my spirits. . .she’s also inspired me to make diet changes and take long walks to improve my diabetes. She motivates me; now we take one hour walks in the park after a meal, plus I meet another friend for 30-60 minute walks as well.”
Ashley has seen dramatic improvements in Tracey’s health, “Tracey used to go into the hospital a few times a year when we first became friends. Over the past 3-4 years, I think she may have had only one visit to the hospital.” Clearly, they’ve both benefited from the relationship as Ashley concludes, “Tracey shares with me often how thankful she is we’ve been friends for so long and it really makes me feel good that she appreciates our friendship just as much as I do.”