emotional wellbeing Mandy Kloppers

6 Ways To Volunteer Your Time For Mental Health

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Mental health issues are common around the globe. It can affect anyone at any age and may vary in severity. However, most people with mental health illnesses tend to refrain from seeking the help they need due to the mental health stigma. Some may start isolating themselves, while others would mask their true feelings or emotions and pretend that their illness is non-existent. Unfortunately, doing so might only worsen their mental health condition or have significant ramifications on their relationships, career, and overall quality of life. (1)

One way to show your support to people with mental health issues is volunteering. Volunteering your time for mental health can positively help people slowly open up about their struggles, address their problems, and get the right professional help they deserve. Furthermore, becoming a mental health volunteer can also be a great way to advocate and raise awareness about the importance of mental health. (2)

For your guide, here are six ways you can volunteer your time for mental health. 

  • Use your skills or interests and involve yourself locally  

Before you join local volunteering groups or support organizations, assess yourself and find out which of your skills or interests you can use to help your local community. Leaning on your existing skills or interests will make it easier for you to find volunteer opportunities that you know you’ll be capable of handling.  (2)

If you’re an animal lover or passionate about animals, you can let your pet be certified as a therapy animal. Then, you may bring your pet with you when you visit nursing homes, hospitals, mental health clinics, or any place where the emotional support of an animal is needed. 

If you’re passionate about suicide prevention, you can volunteer your time with a crisis text line or suicide prevention lifeline. 

Meanwhile, if you’re particularly good at interrelating with others, you can volunteer your time to visit nursing homes or children’s adoption centers and check up on their well-being. (3)

For a more direct approach, you may check out your local community’s mental health organization and determine which roles are available for their volunteer program. Preferably, you may approach organizations that support causes that matter to you. For instance, if you wish to help people with substance abuse issues or are battling severe mental health conditions, you may visit the organizations for these specific causes. Ultimately, utilizing your skills or interests when volunteering can make a massive difference in promoting mental health.  (2) (3)

  • Build social media presence focusing on mental health 

Volunteering your time for mental health doesn’t necessarily mean joining volunteer programs. There are still other creative and fruitful ways to dedicate your time to mental health. Nowadays, most people use social media accounts on a daily basis. You may use social media as your platform to volunteer your time for mental health and raise awareness about it.  

You may create an account or a social media page and share positive quotes about mental health, imagery, short inspirational videos, mental health statistics, and other content that can educate others and hopefully motivate them to improve their mental health. Don’t worry about the number of followers you have. After all you’re still making an impact, whether you have 100 or 10,000 followers.  

  • Share your story 

If you’ve also experienced some mental health issues in the past and survived, you can start your own blog or website and share your story. Starting a blog will make it easier for you to open up about mental health, talk about its importance or how to get help, and hopefully encourage people to do the same. This may also motivate your readers to reach out to you, paving the way for you to offer the help they need. Alternatively, you may also use your blog to educate others about mental health, especially if stigma is present.  

  • Build awareness 

For people who don’t have enough time to join volunteer programs, maintain a social media page, or start a blog, you can still dedicate some of your remaining time by sharing media content about mental health. You can follow mental health-based accounts and like, comment, repost their content, or forward it to your friends or family who may need it. Even with this simple act, you’re still helping many people open up conversations about their mental health.  

  • Start a fundraiser for mental health causes 

Like many others, most mental health organizations will need funding for their resources and research. With that said, you can start a fundraiser and use it to donate and support the mental health cause you’re passionate about.  

  • Check in with your family or friends and be a genuine listener  

Checking in with the people you love may not sound like “volunteering.” Still, you’re making a notable impact on their lives by being there for them and helping them with their mental health struggles. So, make time to interact with your loved ones, talk about their mental health, and ensure they’re taking care of their minds. If they talk about their mental health issues, actively listen without judgment. (4)


Overall, there are many ways you can dedicate your time and effort to mental health. Through these acts of volunteerism, not only are you supporting people with mental health struggles, but you’re also boosting your own mental health. Remember, volunteering can make you happier, increase your self-esteem, and add more purpose and meaning to your life.   



  1. “Mental Illness”, Source: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness
  2. “What Does It Mean To Be A Mental Health Advocate?”, Source: https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/June-2020/What-Does-It-Mean-to-Be-a-Mental-Health-Advocate
  3. “Volunteer To Help Improve Mental Health”, Source: https://createthegood.aarp.org/volunteer-ideas/mental-health-awareness.html
  4. “Depression Toolkit: I want To Support Someone”, Source: https://www.depressioncenter.org/toolkit/i-want-support-someone


Photo by ray sangga kusuma on Unsplash

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.