10 Ways to Volunteer Your Time for Mental Health

Thu, 05/06/2021 – 09:38

This article was originally posted on IDONTMIND’s journal and has been cross-posted here with permission. Read the original article here.

There are so many ways you can volunteer your time to mental health! Not only is volunteering a way to support other people, it can also boost your mental health along the way. Research has shown that when you help other people, the reward center of your brain is kick-started. You get a rush of endorphins, making you feel happier. Volunteering and acts of kindness can also decrease stress, increase your self-esteem, and can add meaning to your life

There are so many opportunities for you to get involved, and all it takes is a little bit of compassion and a little bit of your time. Here are a few ways that you can volunteer your time for mental health.

Give back to your local community

Boosting someone’s quality of life directly impacts their mental health. When you work with local organizations, you’re improving your community piece by piece and contributing to the overall health of the people in your area. And that’s when it can make the biggest difference. 

1. Lean into your skills and interests.

When you’re starting to look for volunteer opportunities, invest in finding the right match for you. Lean into the skills that you already have. 

If you’re a people person, volunteer at a nursing home. 

If you like working with animals, volunteer at a local animal shelter or get your pet certified to be a therapy animal.

If you like organizing, sorting food donations at your local food bank could be perfect for you. 

If you like reading, volunteer at your local library. 

If you like the outdoors,  join a local park cleanup. 

There are so many options, so find what works best for you! If you need some help narrowing things down, try using Volunteer Match to find opportunities near you. 

2. Work with your local Mental Health America affiliate.

Mental Health America (MHA) has an Affiliate Network with over 200 locations in 42 states and over 10,000 volunteers. And MHA affiliates may have volunteer opportunities in your community. Use the Find An Affiliate tool to find the organization closest to you. 

Make some noise

3. Create social change.

Do Something is a youth-led nonprofit focused on creating social change. There are movements that you can join in a huge range of mental health campaigns. When you join a campaign, it can be as simple as signing a petition or sharing an uplifting message. 

4. Share your story.

When you open up about your mental health, you make it easier for other people to do the same. The IDONTMIND Journal is a collection of helpful articles and inspiring personal stories on mental health. Consider taking some time to share your story and submit it to be published in the IDONTMIND Journal. Reading it may give someone the courage they need to reach out.

Help someone who’s struggling

5. Volunteer with Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line is a text line (available 24/7) and can be really useful in any moment of pain or struggle in your life. The text line is powered by volunteer Crisis Counselors who work remotely. When you become a Crisis Counselor, you answer texts from real people in crisis situations. After going through a 30-hour, free training you can provide help to people when they need it most. Learn more about how to become a Crisis Counselor. 

6. Volunteer with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is there to help calm you down and work to keep you safe in one of the most difficult moments in your life. The lifeline is made up of a network of local crisis centers, and it relies on trained volunteers to provide support to the people that call in. You can find the closest local crisis center to you and contact them to see if there are any volunteer opportunities available. 

Be there for someone in your life

7. Check in with the people you love.

Sometimes the best way to really get involved in mental health is just by checking in with your friends and family. Try IDONTMIND’s Just Checking In. It’s ten simple questions to get a conversation going about mental health and to make sure the people in your life are taking care of their minds. 

8. Try actively listening.

It sounds simple, and maybe you aren’t necessarily “volunteering,” but you’re making a huge impact in someone’s life just by being there and supporting someone that’s struggling with their mental health. Check out Listen Up from the IDONTMIND Journal to learn more about how to actively listen to someone that’s being open and honest with you about their mental health. 

Speak up on social and share resources

9. Share mental health screening.

Mental Health America (MHA) offers a free mental health screening tool on its website, available 24/7. It’s a simple series of questions to help you check on your mental health. You can also think of it as a routine check-up for your mind. Just by spreading the word, sharing screening on social media, and talking to your friends and family about it, you’re sharing a really valuable resource that can make a huge impact on someone’s mental wellbeing. If you’re short on time, this is one of the fastest, easiest ways to get involved in mental health. 

10. Follow mental health-based accounts.

When you repost content or send a post to someone, you’re supporting mental health awareness. It’s one simple step in fighting the stigma around mental illness and continuing to open up the conversation about mental health. Check out IDONTMIND’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and Mental Health America’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will house a “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center, that will provide case management, mental health community advocacy, and oversight from the M.I. Mother’s Keeper mental health advocates. 
The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will offer patrons access to immediate coverage by general surgeons as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
Our goal is to help people in the best way possible in an effort to preserve and to save more lives in the Nation’s Capital and beyond.

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Burn Victim
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Child Sex Assault Victim
Domestic Violence Victim
Drug Overdose
Rape/Sex Crime Victim
Suicide Watch
Trafficking Victim
Nervous Breakdown
and more…

Mental Health

At Capital City Emergency Trauma & Wellness Center patrons with mental health emergencies that include life threatening situations in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function or is otherwise distraught and out of control, will have access to quality and psychiatric emergency services and referrals.

Physical Health

Whether your life threatening medical emergency involves excessive or uncontrollable bleeding, head injury. difficulty with breathing, severe pain, heart attack, vision impairments, stroke, physically collapsing, or seizure related, rest assured that our professionals will properly assess and evaluate the level of response that will be most needed to help provide stabilized care solutions and minimize complications as well as reduce early mortality.

Holistic Healthcare

We offer healthcare solutions that will support the whole person which includes their physical, psychological, emotional, social, & spiritual wellbeing. Research supports that because your mental state can affect your overall health we support and offer the inclusion of complimentary and alternative medicine(CAM) practitioners and naturopathic doctor recommendations and referrals as a part of our Outreach Community Resource Center’s care regimen and support.


Emergency care can typically result in traumatic injuries for which rehabilitation becomes an essential component of care in trying to achieve the best long-term outcomes for the patient. In addition to speeding up recovery times and helping to prevent further complications, rehabilitative care also helps to support a patient’s self-managed recovery once discharged from our facility. Our Outreach Community Resource Center works closely with our trauma center’s discharge department to assure that patrons requiring these services are linked with qualified professionals who will be accountable to the standard of care required to help the patron be successful in their recovery.

Social Services

Our “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center intends to promote “expansive” beneficial community enriching services, programs, case management, & linkage to “approved” partner resources and supports in all of the following intended areas and more:

Social Services

  • Clothing
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing/Shelter
  • I.D. Credentials
  • Senior Wellness Check
  • Toiletries
  • Transportation
  • Etc.

Extended Family Services

  • Child Care
  • Credit Counseling
  • Family Court Services
  • Legal Aide

Career Training

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Computer/Graphics Training
  • Culinary Program  
  • GED Courses
  • Hospitality Training
  • Job Etiquette & Grooming
  • Resume’ Prep
  • Sales Training
  • Software/Technology workshops
  • Small Business Training

Return Citizen
Program Partner
(Bridging the Gap)

  • Case Management
  • Temporary Boarding/Housing
  • Transitional Program Registration

Prevention/Intervention Outreach,
Workshops, & Programs

  • After-school Behavioral Health Program
  • Civic Engagement / Volunteer Sign-up
  • Fatherhood Rites of Passage
  • Gun Violence Town Hall Forum
  • Life Coaching & Coping Strategies
  • Marriage Counseling Workshops
  • Medicare Informational Workshops
  • Mentorship Training
  • Parental Classes
  • Support Groups
  • Town Hall Discussions
  • Violence De-Escalation Training
  • Voter Registration

Nutritional Outreach

  • Cooking Demonstrations
  • Dietary Programs
  • Exercise Classes
  • Recipe Sharing Workshops
  • Meal Prep

Community Outreach

The Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition is partnering with the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health advocacy organization to provide outreach services on the community level as an aid in reducing the existent health inequities that many District citizens are facing as a direct result of the presence of debilitating social determinants and the lack of culturally appropriate care choices and realities for community members residing in marginalized and lower-income communities.

It is the vision and intentions of the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health Advocates organization to help improve the quality of living for citizens living in our Nation’s Capital and beyond by overseeing the delicate linkage to services and by maintaining higher standards of care accountability for deserving citizens of the Nation’s Capital.

For more information or to enroll as one of our service providers, please email us at: