Navigating our advancing years can be challenging, even for those with a strong support network. Now, imagine crossing those same waters alone, without friends or family to turn to for support. Our Peer Counseling program works to ensure no one faces the challenges of aging alone. Specially-trained volunteer counselors provide weekly visits to adults age 55+ to help manage transitions and life changes such as health concerns, mobility issues, caregiver needs, and grief. Special care is taken to connect participants with someone who shares similar life-experiences and perspectives, with programs offered in languages such as English, Mandarin, Spanish, and Tagalog, and to participants who identify as LGBTQIA+.

How does it work?

After applying, participants are matched with a volunteer Peer Counselor who often shares a similar background, native language, and life experiences. Participants can choose to join a group session or request one-on-one counseling.

Individual peer counseling sessions take place weekly over the phone or a zoom conference call. Group sessions are offered in a variety of languages in Daly City, San Mateo, Redwood City, and the Coastside (In-person sessions will resume at a later time).

Who qualifies?

Our Peer Counseling program is open to adults age 55+ who live in San Mateo County and can benefit from the program.

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Can I become a counselor?

To become a Peer Counselor, volunteers participate in two, three and a half-hour training sessions each week for a total of five weeks. During the sessions, volunteers learn the skills they need to be active listeners, recognize and respond to grief, depression, and anxiety, and work with diverse cultures. Volunteers who speak Mandarin, Tagalog, or Spanish, or who identify as LGBTQIA+, are encouraged to apply!

Prospective volunteer counselors should:

  • Be age 55+
  • Live in San Mateo County
  • Be a good listener
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Be able to devote at least one hour a week to meet with a participant
  • Be able to attend monthly group supervision meetings
  • Have the ability to lead Zoom conference calls

Volunteer applications are accepted year-round, with training sessions taking place in the Spring and in the Fall.

To become a Peer Counselor, you can either fill out the Request for Application available online, or contact via e-mail or via phone at (650) 403.43.00 Ext. 4389.

If you have any other questions, please contact Ann Blick Hamer, Peer Counseling Program Manager, at 650.403.4300 ext. 4322 or by email.

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2022 training dates:

English: Mar 1 – 30, 2022

Spanish: May 31 – June 30, 2022

English: Oct 18- Nov 16, 2022

To register via e-mail or call (650) 403.43.00 Ext. 4389

If you are age 55+, you can change the lives of older adults in our community.

Peer Counseling Forms

These forms are for current Peer Counselors that are working with individuals. Click on the link for each form in order to see and print the document.

Flow of Services
Participant Assessment
Loneliness Scale
Sexual Orientation Gender Identity

HIPAA Verbal Release Authorization
Consent to Receive Services
Counselor Status
Address and Phone Number Change
Case Closing

2021 Monthly Reporting Form

Referral Form
Download the Referral Form, fill it out and mail to:

Ann Blick Hamer/ Peer Counseling
24 Second Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401

Call 650-403-4300 x 4322 with any questions

We welcome all without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, country of origin, age, language, abilities, sexual orientation, or gender.