If you are over 55 and are interested in helping others over 55, Family Service Agency’s Senior Peer Counseling Program (SPC) offers you a volunteer opportunity that is challenging, stimulating, and meaningful. You can reach within yourself and share with other seniors the skills, experiences, and options that you have found useful in your own life.

The Senior Peer Counseling program trains volunteers to provide emotional and practical support to peers who are having difficulty coping with life’s challenges. We are seeking people who are open, compassionate, and warm to join us for our next free training.

This free training is a comprehensive, two-day program that includes both group discussion and experiential learning. The focus is on listening and communication skills, understanding mental health diagnoses, and developing effective supportive techniques, including some case management skills. The opportunity for group fieldwork exposure is provided while you are in training.

We are looking for a diverse group of warm, caring people who accept the differing worldviews of others. There are no educational requirements. Some of our SPCs have themselves received mental health services and are thus able to empathize with their clients in a unique way. Many Senior Peer Counselors choose to work with more troubled “at risk” seniors.

Applicants are asked to commit several hours a week to the program. This includes two hours of group supervision, a suggested caseload of one to three clients, record keeping, and travel to the client’s residence or a group setting. If invited to participate in this program, you may be eligible to earn a monthly stipend.