Mental Health and volunteering Volunteering and Mental Health There have been numerous surveys suggesting that volunteering can improve your mental health, which is fine but until you experience it you may find it difficult to believe, especially if you are suffering with mental health problems at present. It may be difficult for you to leave your house or even leave your bed! You may find social interactions difficult, so how, from this view point can volunteering improve your mental health? Taking up an activity that you find interesting, worthwhile and enjoyable can often become a necessary distraction from the many problems we may have to face in life. These activities may not solve our problems but they do give us temporary respite from them. When we are actively engaged and fully focused on something, our worries and stresses are alleviated, if only for a short time. However these short times may increase to longer times as we immerse ourselves in our chosen activities. Then if we start to feel and see the differences the giving of our time makes, our perception of life and ourselves may slowly begin to change. We may begin to see a purpose in our lives again, feel a part of society or our community and begin to look forward to the day. This doesn’t mean we won’t have bad days anymore it just helps with those days. Volunteering only requests your time, it doesn’t demand it or control you. A volunteer’s time is much appreciated and can bring many benefits. Volunteering can help to heal loneliness and tackle isolation, can improve social interactions and help make new friends, like minded friends. Volunteering can teach many skills, or help you to improve your own skills and vastly enhance your employability skills. Volunteering can help to build confidence and reduce stress and help you to engage in something you feel passionate about. So why not get in touch to find out more or visit the do it website www.do-it.org to find that activity that may help to change your life.