What gives you joy? What would you do in your life if money didn't matter? Do you want to feel good while doing good? What are you passionate about?
How would you like to see the world be a better place?
Many of us may have played tiny almost selfless roles such as serving a dish at a marriage or party, coaching a student in math or any other subject or even training someone to playing a game effectively. Usually, we can recognize the joy in such deeds. By using our time, skills and energy to be of service to others, we not only help people but also receive numerous personal mental health benefits.
Research shows doing that 2-3 hours of volunteering per week (or about 100 hours per year) can provide the most benefits as long as the activity is rewarding and something to look forward to rather than another item on our lengthy to-do list.
So why does volunteering make us feel so good?
Seven Benefits of Volunteering to Mental Wellness
Volunteering helps in Managing Stress
Whether we are working with adults, children or pets, a meaningful connection can take our mind off our worries when we put our attention on someone or something else. The richer the experience, the more we feel satisfied with giving of our time and talents, and that results in improved mood and less stress.
Volunteering Combats Negative Emotions
Volunteering can keep the mind distracted from a destructive habit like negative thinking or being overly critical of others and oneself. It can also increase motivation by providing a sense of accomplishment. After a successfully executed project volunteers tend to think: “If I can do this well, what else could I possibly do similarly?”
Prevents Feelings of Isolation
While volunteering, we can also make new friends growing our social network and possibly even our professional one. Picking an activity that we enjoy gives us a higher chance of meeting people who share our values and worldview. Like-minded, like-hearted people come together over common interests. Whether it’s building a community garden, campaigning for specific political movement or giving tours as a museum docent, the key is to show up with some consistency and warmly introducing ourselves. It’s possible to create friendships that can last long after the volunteering ends. And, especially for those of us who are naturally more shy and introverted, a volunteer activity can help break the ice while helping others.
Volunteering Boosts Confidence
Some volunteering activities require learning new skills. Gaining a new ability coupled with being in an unfamiliar environment can provide mental stimulation that we would otherwise not experience. Also, in growing our skill set to make a difference for others, we can gain a sense of pride and identity, which can lead to having a more positive view of oneself.
Volunteering Gives a Sense of Purpose and Meaning
Regardless of our age, whether we are still in our prime income-earning years or in retired, volunteering can give meaning, purpose, and fulfillment in ways different than what we do or have done for work. Whether it’s with seniors, children, animals or due to a natural disaster, the willingness to do what’s needed in the moment no matter how humbling the task can put things in perspective and help grow compassion for others while expanding our minds and worldview.
Volunteering Ignites Passion
Volunteering is also a fun way to explore different interests or even perhaps work alongside a master. It can be an energizing escape from your daily routine especially if you sit in front of a computer all day and long to be more active and in the outdoors. Look for opportunities to help clean up the woods you love, walk dogs for an animal shelter, or volunteer at a youth soccer camp.
Volunteering Makes You Happy
Research shows that feel good hormones and brain activity spike during volunteer activities. Humans are designed to be in community, serving one another. It’s impossible not to impact a community when you volunteer. Just being there and doing whatever is needed is contributing to the greater whole. Volunteering makes the world a better place by aiding a community in need and helping others provides immense pleasure.
There's possibly something for you at MHAT
There’s a volunteer activity perfect for you at MHAT, given your skill set, physical mobility capacity, and time availability. It could be by simple things like being a part of an event in any way possible to managing a project. Or else it may involve visiting a community clinic to training care givers or clients - the possibilities are endless. And now with current technologies, there are ways to volunteer remotely via phone or computer. Just make sure there is enough social interaction and support for you to feel connected and fulfilled.
Are you interested?
Let us know something about you. Please apply below
The crux of our model
Provision of free, good quality, comprehensive mental health care to the needy through a network of community clinics.
Local partners and trained volunteers function as effective mental health care coordinators.
To provide long term treatment for chronic mental disorders through a system of community owned and managed care.
Clinical remission from mental disorders, prevention of relapses and rehabilitation are the main objectives.
Our Core Service
Regular (mostly weekly) outpatient psychiatric clinics in the same physical settings where people with physical health problems are seen, using the same systems that exist there.
Initial and follow up assessments are by the MHAT team comprising Psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists and Social Workers.
Each patient is looked after in the community by a trained volunteer care worker who acts as his/her care coordinator.
Once the acute symptoms have subsided, patients receive psychotherapy if appropriate and also enter locally based rehabilitation programmes.
If necessary, care is provided at home including visits by the clinical team.