Why volunteering is good for your mental health #CCCUGivingBack

Volunteering can be good for your mental wellbeing, as well as helping those around you and boosting your career chances so why don’t you become one of the students who decides to make a difference?

Every October the World Federation for Mental Health organises World Mental Health Day to raise awareness and to invite conversations around mental health. Even in 2017 there is still a stigma around mental health, despite the fact that it impacts on almost everyone and that poor mental health can affect anyone from any walk life, at any time and at any age. Did you know that every year 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 children are likely to suffer a mental health problem? Volunteering is one way to combat poor mental health.

Volunteer your way to a happier life 
Volunteering can be a great way to improve your own mental health and self esteem, whilst also making a positive difference to others. A recent study by The Wildlife Trust found that 95% of their participants reported an improvement in their mental health within 6 weeks of taking part in nature conservation volunteering activities. The NHS website notes that small acts of kindness to others – such as volunteering – can give you a sense of purpose and feel happier and more satisfied with life.

Volunteer your way to a career that matters
A study commissioned by Oxfam in 2016 found that 80% employers are more likely to hire an applicant with volunteering experience – it demonstrates your commitment and passion for a cause, high emotional intelligence and can help you develop the skills you will need in the workplace.

Opportunity of the Week
And since talking about mental health is so important, we’ve decided to focus our opportunity of the week on the newly established Canterbury Nightline, a student-led confidential listening service, based at the University of Kent campus but available to all students. They currently have some exciting volunteering roles available on the University volunteering database :

  • Treasurer
  • Communication Officer
  • Rota Coordinator

If positive mental health is your thing, why not get involved in Student Minds  or find out how to become a peer mentor to help your fellow students through challenges at university.

If you want to have a chat about these or other volunteering opportunities, please email volunteer@canterbury.ac.uk or come along to The CORE in Augustine House on Monday, Wednesday or Friday mornings (10am-12pm) for Volunteer Drop-in.

If you are concerned about your own mental wellbeing and need to talk, the Mental Wellbeing team can offer confidential support and advice on a range of mental health matters, while www.bigwhitewall.com  is a free online support service available to all Christ Church students.

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