Volunteering Aids Your Recovery From Mental Illness
Volunteering aided my recovery from mental illness when I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and bulimia in my early 20s. I volunteered for my local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chapter, and it soon became a great opportunity that helped me take back my life and even lead to an internship. Here are five ways that volunteering can aid mental illness recovery that I discovered during my time at NAMI.
Ways Volunteering Aids Mental Illness Recovery
Supporting a cause can be fulfilling, and make recovery feel meaningful
Fighting stigma and providing information to the community through NAMI reignited my drive and passion that I had lost when I was sick. I was really doing something worthwhile. There are so many amazing organizations out there doing a lot of good work, and it feels really great to be a part of that. You can pick something that’s important to you and see what organizations are out there.
You get the chance to connect with others with similar interests
I love art, and at my local NAMI chapter, we had art support groups. I became a group facilitator, and I loved meeting with the other volunteers to come up with art projects. What was even more amazing was seeing what the participants created. Many organizations let you bring your own interests and skills to the table.
Volunteering is a great experience for future employment
I was taking college classes while volunteering at NAMI, and I got the incredible opportunity to be a community educator intern at our local chapter. I later became a certified peer supporter for a mental health agency, and I was constantly drawing on my experience at NAMI. You never know what will happen. Keep your eyes and mind open and volunteering can aid in your mental illness recovery and elsewhere.
Volunteering Gets you out of the house and puts you on a schedule
Stability and routine can be very helpful in recovery. Volunteering gives you somewhere to go and keeps you on a schedule. Getting out of the house helps fight isolation.
Volunteering lets you explore your interests and develop skills
Most organizations have lots to do, so you can try different volunteer positions on for size. Who knows? Maybe you will find something you really like and will want to pursue it further.
Volunteering can be something as simple as just getting out of the house, or it could even lead to a career. You never know when volunteering can aid in your mental illness recovery, so just give it a shot.
Rahm, M. (2017, October 4). Volunteering Aids Your Recovery From Mental Illness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2017/10/volunteering-a-great-aid-in-recovery-from-mental-illness