Mental health volunteer opportunities
Mental health volunteering has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of people suffering with their mental health. Volunteers can help make people feel understood, supported and less alone.
With the World Health Organization citing a 25% rise in mental health cases since 2020, there is an increasing need for mental health services. The pandemic, financial issues and global disasters have contributed to multiple stress factors including social isolation, loss of work, fear, grief and financial worries. These are all major contributing factors towards a rise in mental health issues.
Mental health volunteer opportunities come in a variety of forms. You don't have to be a nurse or social worker to make a difference. Nonprofit organizations and charities in the mental health sector are always looking for committed and caring volunteers to help them deliver their essential services..
Keep reading to learn more about the types of mental health volunteer opportunities you can give your time and skills to.
What is mental health volunteering?
Mental health volunteering covers a range of roles and services. It’s important to remember that mental health issues present very differently from person to person, and can affect people from all walks of life, demographics, age and gender.
For example, you may work with clients with substance abuse issues, grief, depression or anxiety, people suffering from homelessness, or who have PTSD.
You don’t have to have any specific skills, but many organizations will run training sessions for volunteers to ensure they’re equipped to provide the right support.
Why volunteer in the mental health field?
As a mental health volunteer you’ll have the opportunity to support people dealing with mental health issues and help them get through a very difficult time. While it's a challenging role, it’s also extremely rewarding.
Volunteering is a great way to gain experience and build a professional network if you would like to pursue a career in mental health. It will give you an insight into what different jobs entail, and how the industry as a whole works, while also allowing you to build up some valuable skills and network with mental health professionals before you enter the workforce.
Like any volunteer role, there are a number of benefits that come from volunteering. These include meeting new people, gaining a sense of purpose, increasing employability, mental and physical health benefits, practicing empathy, and having fun learning something new.
Does volunteering improve mental health?
Positive behaviors such as volunteering and helping others takes the pressure off social engagement, and is a tried-and-tested way to alleviate loneliness, isolation, and depression.
In fact, a 2020 study in the UK found that people who volunteer regularly experienced a positive boost in their mental health.
If you are suffering, or have suffered from mental illness, volunteering is a great way to get involved in the community. Plus, your own lived experience will make you a more empathetic and understanding volunteer when speaking to clients going through a difficult period.
Examples of mental health volunteer opportunities
Volunteering with Lifeline
Crisis centers such as Lifeline are often non profits, run by trained volunteers and qualified staff. They provide mental and emotional support via phone calls, SMS, or online chats to anyone going through distress.
Find out more here:
Volunteer at a mental health clinic
Most mental health care clinics or hospitals welcome volunteer coordinators to help provide additional support to patients. This may be through running activities, patient transport, patient meet and greet, working in the cafe or florist, providing companionship or administrative support.
Volunteering at mental health fundraising events
Fundraising events are vital for mental health support services to raise the vital funds they need. So if you prefer to get involved behind-the-scenes, volunteering for fundraising events is a great way to show your support.
You could help sell tickets, assist with promotion on social media, event management, design invites, or source raffle items.
Alternatively, you may like to participate in your own challenge and raise funds that way, such as running a marathon, growing a mo (Movember) or quitting alcohol for a period of time (Dry July).
Disaster recovery volunteers
Volunteers are essential to disaster recovery efforts. They provide essential service provision, food relief, social connection, public health services and mental health support and suicide prevention and crisis intervention.
Large humanitarian organizations such as the Red Cross are often the first to deploy after a disaster and are always looking to fill volunteer positions and recruiting committed volunteers.
Websites such as VolunteerMatch or GoVolunteer list hundreds of volunteer opportunities. They often allow you to search through the ads and filter by location, skills or role to find something that suits your interests and availability. This is a great way to discover local organizations you may not have heard of before.
Online volunteering mental health
Advocating and supporting those battling mental health is easier than ever thanks to the rise in virtual volunteering opportunities. A good deal of mental health volunteer work can be done online, so you can log in wherever you have a computer and internet access. This ensures you can give your time from where you feel comfortable, at a time that suits you best. You could give support to victims of a natural disaster overseas, chat to vulnerable people at all hours, or help out a cause in another part of the world that doesn’t have sufficient resources for mental illness.
Check out some of the mental health volunteer opportunities at vollie.com.au.
The opportunities listed above are just a few examples of ways you can get involved. Mental health volunteers are in high demand as many organizations are struggling to keep up with an increased need for their services.
Don’t hesitate to get involved. Not only will you be helping someone through a crisis, you’ll also experience a boost to your mental health.
Learn more about Rosterfy
Keep reading more about finding volunteer opportunities on our blog:
- 100 community service ideas
- 12 different types of volunteering work you can try
- Discover 12 Surprising Benefits of Volunteering
We’ve recently launched Rosterfy Connect, a volunteer marketplace solution that provides a central platform to post, find and manage volunteer opportunities to ensure a better connected community for all.
If you’d like to learn more about how Rosterfy can help you manage your volunteer program, why not book a demo of our product today?