Volunteering is good for your mental health
Boost your self-esteem, meet new people and learn new skills
“Now I have a reason to get up in the morning three days a week. I’m using skills I forgot I still had. I feel useful,” said Linda about her volunteer experience with a local women’s shelter. Since her diagnosis with severe depression several months ago, Linda has been out of the workforce. She’s using her volunteer experience to ease her way back.
Whether you’re working, looking for work, or intentionally unemployed, volunteering can change your life. It can give a therapeutic lift to your mood and self-esteem. It adds structure to your life and gets you out among people with whom you share interests, and as it does for Linda, it can make you feel needed.
"It's really important for people to be able to engage and take part in a variety of activities in their community - including volunteering,” said Mei Cobb, United Way Vice President of Volunteer Engagement. “For those dealing with depression or other mood disorders, becoming involved and truly making a difference in their communities can be particularly inspirational and life-affirming. Volunteering is a great way to re-engage with life, to recognize our interconnectedness and to make a positive impact on important issues."
Whether it is important to you to solve a community problem, advance a worthy cause or to develop as a person, volunteering offers many benefits.
Volunteering can help you:
- Make important networking contacts.
- Learn or develop skills.
- Teach your skills to others
- Enhance your resume.
- Gain work experience.
- Build self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Meet new people.
- Feel needed and valued.
- Give back for help you may have received.
- Demonstrate that you care about the community.
- Make a difference in someone’s life.
To find a volunteer opportunity in your community, contact your local United Way, Volunteer Match, or an organization you’d like to be involved with.
Print and tape this list on your refrigerator.