Volunteering is good for your mind and body (supporting Mental Health Awareness Week 2014)

May 13, 2014

Categories: Health and Wellbeing | Volunteering

Mental Health Awareness Week from 12-18th May 2014 is raising awareness of anxiety.

Community Action Suffolk is keen to share great stories about the power of the volunteer and how it can help individuals who are recovering from mental health illnesses.

With your help, we want to reach as many people as possible to help them to understand, manage and overcome the anxiety which can impact on our daily lives, so please feel free to share our stories we are publishing this week.

mental health awareness weekBenefits of volunteering:
Volunteering is good for your mind and body

Authors: Joanna Saisan, M.S.W., Melinda Smith, M.A., and Gina Kemp, M.A. Last updated: September 2013.

Source: http://www.helpguide.org/life/volunteer_opportunities_benefits_volunteering.htm

Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health.

Volunteering increases self-confidence. Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.

Volunteering combats depression.

Reducing the risk of depression is another important benefit of volunteering. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you’re going through challenging times.

Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy.

Volunteering is good for your health at any age, but it’s especially beneficial in older adults. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering factors like the health of the participants. Volunteering has also been shown to lessen symptoms of chronic pain or heart disease.

Authors: Joanna Saisan, M.S.W., Melinda Smith, M.A., and Gina Kemp, M.A. Last updated: September 2013.

Community Action Suffolk can help you find the perfect volunteering opportunity, whether you’ve just a couple of hours to give, or you would like to commit to something longer. Visit our volunteering pages to find out more, or contact volunteering@communityactionsuffolk.org.uk

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