Metro.co.uk‘s Mental Health Awareness Week is here, and there is no better time to sign up to become a charity volunteer.
According to charity Mind, one in four people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England.
One in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England.
Many people have suffered mental health issues after a year of lockdowns and lots will have felt helpless in wanting to lend support to family and friends they haven’t been able to hug due to social distancing measures.
But there are several charities who are looking for volunteers to help others – and many don’t require you to have any qualifications.
Samaritans welcomes people from a wide range of applicants who want to become a listening volunteer and provide support to others.
Samaritans state applicants don’t need to have any previous experience or qualifications, you just need to be ‘non-judgemental and accepting of others.’
They say you don’t need to have gone through your own mental health struggles in the past with the most important factor being your willingness to help others.
All applicants must be 18 and over and those successful will be given full training on how to deal with phone calls from those in need of support.
To begin your application visit the Samaritans website.
SANEline is another mental health charity also on the lookout for Helpline and Textcare volunteers to support their services.
No past experience or qualifications are needed with their focus on volunteers being ‘warm, compassionate, understanding people who are good communicators.’
Full training will be provided for successful applicants.
If you are London-based and want to get involved you can register your interest at the SANEline website.
Mind offer lots of different opportunities for those looking to volunteer.
While some of the roles working in Mind’s London HQ, or one of their many local Minds or Mind shops may require certain experience, there are many other ways you can give your time – cheering, making a video blog, joining campaigners, talking to the media and more.
To find out more about about current opportunities to volunteer, visit the Mind website.
If helping others in person or talking over the phone sounds scary then there is also the option to become a text volunteer.
Those in need of help can use a text service provided by Shout 85258 and volunteers will work to take someone in distress to a calmer place.
Shout are currently taking applications for volunteers who can commit to helping throughout the night.
Volunteers don’t need any qualifications but should be ‘resilient and mentally robust to help people in distress’.
To start the application process you can register on the Shout 85258 website.
Msaada is a volunteering programme for people from the Black and Minority Ethnic communities who want to support people who are living with a mental illness.
Their website states: ‘Msaada (a Swahili word meaning “giving back”) is our volunteering programme for people from the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities who want to support BME people who are living with a mental illness.
‘Volunteers in the Msaada programme help people by performing roles such as befriending, visiting patients on our wards, and administration.’
No qualifications or experience is needed but volunteers must commit to a minimum of three hours per week over nine months.
Those willing to apply can visit the Msaada website for more information, email [email protected] or call 020 3228 9827.
As a YoungMind helper, volunteers can help on the Parents Helpline.
The Parents Helpline provides support and advice to parents and carers worried about the emotional wellbeing or behaviour of a young person in their care with confidential expert advice.
Full training will be provided for volunteers but they are looking for those who have ‘good communication, interpersonal and IT skills’ and ‘ an awareness of the emotional difficulties families can face.’
Learn about volunteering opportunities at the YoungMinds website.
London Friend works with supporting LGBT people, with the charity always on the lookout for volunteers to provide counselling, run social and support groups, fundraising and more.
You must have the desired qualifications to become a volunteer counsellor but full training is provided for all other roles regardless of experience.
London Friend state that due to the nature of work as a specialist LGBT service they require all volunteers providing client support roles to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans (or similar self-identified LGBT+ identity).
For more information on how to apply to become a volunteer visit the London Friend website.
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