Volunteering benefits positive mental health (10th Oct 2012)
Thanks to thousands of volunteers who volunteer in support of mental health in Ireland
On World Mental Health Day, Volunteer Ireland are highlighting the links between positive mental health and volunteering.
Research has shown that volunteering can benefit one's mental health. Volunteering, as an outward-looking activity, enables the volunteer to feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction – the sense that they are contributing to society, are significant, and that people notice and care about their existence.
Volunteering can lead to:
Increased self esteem and confidence
Better social interaction, integration and support
Volunteer Ireland carried out research this year with 500 active Irish volunteers. The survey found that being involved in volunteering brings positive benefits to people themselves with 98% responding that ‘volunteering makes them a happier person’.
Volunteer Ireland CEO Yvonne Mckenna said “Research has shown that volunteering can have a significant impact on people’s well being and mental health. On World Mental Health Day, we at Volunteer Ireland feel it is important to highlight that none of us are alone. Volunteering is a wonderful way of connecting with your community, meeting people and making a difference. There is a powerful sense of fulfilment and pride that comes from giving back and helping others.”
Ms. McKenna continued “In these challenging times, it’s important that those who have found themselves unemployed or underemployed as a result of the recession, have an opportunity to put skills and qualifications to good use and contribute to their community. Volunteering is a great way of getting out of the house, meeting new people and making new friends.”
Yvonne McKenna also thanked those who donate their time to promote positive mental health and volunteers who work on behalf of people who experience mental illness. “Thousands of volunteers across the country provide vital support within organisations and charities committed to helping those with mental illness. Whether it is through counselling, befriending, fundraising, support groups, social clubs or operating help lines – volunteers provide invaluable support. World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to recognise and thank all those who volunteer in support of mental health in Ireland.”
For those interested in volunteering, visit www.volunteer.ie or contact your local Volunteer Centre to browse opportunities in your area and start making a difference