Importance of volunteering in the fight against mental health problems

Volunteering is the process of dedicating talent, time, effort, and resources to meet a community goal or cause without expecting any gains or rewards.

When you set out to volunteer for something, you are ready to put your convenience aside to help people in one way or the other.

In the fight against mental disorders, volunteering is one of the ways to help people get their mental health back on track. Below are some of the important ways that volunteering helps to fight against mental health problems.

Volunteer, Seek, Request, Hands, Help

Helps you educate people on mental health

Not everyone understands the concept of mental health, this is why some of them engage in activities that can ruin their mental health in the long run.

Volunteering helps you to reach out to people and educate them on what mental health means. When people understand more about their mental health, they will be able to make better decisions that will secure their mental health in the long run.

Provides you with a sense of fulfillment

Another importance of volunteering when it comes to fighting mental health problems is that it gives you a sense of fulfillment. When you reach out to people to educate them about their mental health, you tend to feel better which improves your mood and satisfaction level.

Gives you the chance to save lives

Another importance of volunteering is that it gives you the ample opportunity to save lives. Since many people are not aware of what mental health involves, you will be helping them take control of their lives.

As you give them tips on how to care for their mental health, they will apply them and they would be better for it.

Helps you meet new people and forge connections

Ultimately, volunteering helps you to meet people from different places, and it could also be a chance for you to see people with like minds. As you meet them, you can create new and long-lasting relationships.

How volunteering is important for fighting addiction

When it comes to addiction, many people think that the best way to help those who are suffering is by providing them with substance abuse treatment facilities. However, there is another option for treating addiction which is volunteering. 

Volunteering provides addicts with opportunities to partake in social activities to assist their addiction.

This helps them fight the isolation associated with addiction. It also provides an outlet for expression for those struggling with mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety, which can trigger drug use.

The sense of community created through volunteering also promotes self-esteem and feelings of pride which can combat the shame often felt by addicts.

Trying new things such as going out into public spaces or interacting with strangers without alcohol or drugs present can prove to be very resourceful in combating addiction.

For those who suffer from addiction, it is important to keep busy with positive activities that can help them maintain sobriety. Volunteering offers a sense of purpose and belonging in various ways.

Volunteering ensures that addicts are surrounded by people who are going through similar struggles yet are still trying to make the world a better place for everyone.

There will also spend less time at home ruminating on old habits and triggers that may result in drug or alcohol use. The goal is to feel fulfilled in life, so there is no need to turn back to drugs or alcohol again because they have nothing left in their life to live for.

The significance of volunteering in fighting addiction cannot be overstated. Individuals with substance use disorders who volunteer feel a sense of belonging and purpose, while also developing skills that can help them get back to work or school after they recover from their addiction.

If you know someone struggling with addiction, encourage them to get involved in the community by giving their time and energy for free!

Four effective mediums of volunteering

In the past few years, addiction has become a major issue in our society. To combat this epidemic, many individuals are looking for ways to volunteer their time and skills. There are so many great organizations that need help!

Addicts can be treated as a marginalized group, and this is why they must be allowed the opportunity to volunteer.

Volunteering has been proven to reduce stress, increase happiness, improve immunity, and decrease depression. There are many ways addicts can volunteer in their communities, and each has its benefits.

Mediums such as food banks or soup kitchens are places where they will get the chance to interact with people who are also struggling in some way.

This level of human interaction helps them not only feel good about themselves but also become self-reliant. This improvement provides numerous benefits for society due to fewer crime rates among other things.

When it comes to addiction recovery, some mediums are more effective than others. Some effective mediums of volunteering for addicts are:

  1. Homeless children shelter: Seeing kids that do not have homes and families to care for them brings a sense of purpose and assists addicts with recovery. Responsibilities will include joining community outreaches, sorting for ways to secure funds, and meeting different people. Addicts tend to get engaged and involved with social activities that reduce the urge for addiction triggers.
  2. Library: Libraries are always in need of volunteers. Addicts can take this as leverage to pastime on interesting books and meet great minds. Donating books, shelves, and documentaries to libraries can also give people a sense of fulfillment which is good for addiction recovery.
  3. Restaurants: If you do not have time to volunteer during the day, you can always fill in at restaurants during the evening. Restaurants are also a place where you can explore giving back to your society other than staying home ruminating on your problems.
  4. Volunteering as a Tutor: Tutoring is a great way to find closure and explore new things while you simultaneously evade addiction risk factors. Whether you do it at an elementary school close by or simply help your kids with their school work, it all counts.

Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART) Program for Addiction Recovery Part 2: Volunteering

SMART Recovery is a mental health and educational program for addiction recovery focused on changing the behavior of the addicted person towards long-term recovery.

The success of SMART Recovery depends on the support of a large network of dedicated volunteers teaching and advocating about the program around the world.

How SMART Volunteers Help

The meeting format for SMART recovery program is straightforward and organized. Volunteer facilitators are trained to follow the SMART Recovery program and principles to help participants change their behavior.  SMART Recovery meetings are serious but often fun. The focus of the discussions is on applying SMART’s tools for change so that the participants can go on to lead a more productive and connected life.

SMART volunteers carry out a number of roles. These include being a committee member, board member, online or in-person facilitator.  Volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds. They could be professionals in the addiction treatment field, family, and friends of someone undergoing addiction treatment, or even individuals who are in their own long term recovery. The common thread for all the volunteers is their strong desire to help others along their journey towards full recovery from addiction.

Local Volunteering

Local SMART Recovery Facilitators paly an important role by being a critical resource for people in their communities seeking relief from their addictive behaviors. The volunteers usually play the role of an ambassador or advocate by providing information about local medical facilities, courts, and community.

Online Volunteering

More than 1,000 people sign up every month for SMART program’s online activities. Experienced volunteers play an important role using the program tools to help the individuals to learn to address the issues around the underlying issues that might have led them towards addiction as a coping mechanism.

Volunteer Trainings & Options

There are several training program courses and options that the potential volunteer can select based on the specific volunteer role they would like to take on. Examples include:

Meeting Host Training – This option gives training to conduct a meaningful SMART Recovery meeting. The volunteer provides the location to host a meeting and the program will provide the meeting outline, structure, and the topics for discussions.

Facilitator Training – This training is aimed to provide the volunteer with a comprehensive review of the SMART Recovery 4-Point Program, the SMART Recovery tools, and a lot of guidance. It is their most popular training course.

Family & Friends Training – This is an “add-on” to the Facilitator training. This additional training is designed for those volunteers who would like to organize a support group for those having a loved one with addictive behavior.

Facilitator/Family & Friends Training – This is essentially a “combo” package putting together the core Facilitator Training with the add on Family & Friends Training as a single training course option.

SMART Recovery for Professionals – This is more specialized training. It is designed for licensed health care professionals who wish to use SMART Recovery’s self-empowering, evidence-based 4-Point Program®, and Tools in their professional role and with their patients.

For more information:

Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART) Program Part 1: To Achieve Independence From Addiction Problems

Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART Recovery) is a not-for-profit organization for people with addiction related problems.

The program organizes free self-empowering help and support sessions focusing on approaches and methods to help people reform their life from an unhappy self-destructive one to a constructive and satisfying one.

Being sensitive to the population it serves, SMART Recovery does not use labels like “alcoholic” or “addict”. They use scientifically proven ways developed to create an atmosphere of change and to develop a more positive lifestyle.

After someone joins the program and becomes familiar with SMART and are free of any addictive behavior, they are encouraged to be a volunteer as a way of giving back. This also helps the program to expand, reach more people and help tackle the ramping addiction problem in our society.

There are 4 key areas in the SMART recovery program. These are:

Motives and Goals

The main premise of the intervention is built on the fact that motivation is a key element in all most all that a person does in life. This is because every human being has a number of primary goals including survival, avoidance of pain, and being happy. It has been proven that all addictive behaviors motivate a person as a way to pursue these primary goals. The support given by SMART helps their clients to recognize that their addictive habits might be meeting these goals in the short-term but they are impairing their ability to meet them in the long-term.


The program also understands that what a person you believes in is important, and there are many beliefs to choose from, especially as it relates to addiction. For instance, some think they are powerless, or that after the first drink they lose all control and can’t stop on their own. These beliefs can really be causing damage in the thinking process. Other examples of incorrect beliefs include, “Because I’ve tried to quit and failed, I’m no good or “I’ve tried and failed, so I can’t do it. I need alcohol to cope.” These and other similar beliefs are not valid because the scientific evidence doesn’t corroborate them. It is important to examine, identify, and revise these inaccurate beliefs about oneself inside the mind before change can happen on the outside.


It is a well-known fact that often people resort to addictive behaviors as a means to handle their emotional issues, including anxiety, guilt, anger, and low self-esteem. SMART Recovery program helps to learn the approaches to reduce these emotional disturbances and to build self-acceptance. This in turn will create greater motivation and the ability to change and to control the urge to use the addictive substances as a short term fix to problems.


SMART program also recognizes that just making changes in thinking and emotions are not sufficient.  Commitment and follow-through are critical for the change to be long term and sustainable. Participants are encouraged to get involved in activities that are enjoyable to the individual and replace them with their problematic addictive behaviors.

For more information:


We have busy lives, and sometimes, it is difficult to volunteer. However, the benefits which comes with volunteering are great.

Volunteering renders important help to the needy, it provides beneficial rewards to both the individuals and the community. As a matter of fact, you would be surprised to know that, there are even worthwhile benefits for you.

When you volunteer, you are protecting your physical and mental health. It can help you to combat stress, depression and ensure you are mentally reinvigorated, whilst giving you a sense of purpose.  

One reason why you should take up volunteering is because, you are needed. If no one volunteers, there would be no one to do the work. Our small collective inputs give birth to a great output.

As a volunteer, you are involved in a noble work, and you serve those who need your love, affection and care. You would also come to understand that, not everyone came into this world lucky.

In addition, being a volunteer ensures that you actively take part in community building. You can decide to have a focus when it comes to your volunteering service.

However, you should know that, you are making a worthy difference in the lives of the individuals who the organization serves.

Also, being a volunteer is a sure remedy for mental health and wellness treatment. When you give your time for a worthy cause, it positively affects your mental and physical health.

Your stress levels are brought down, and there is an improvement in your mood. When you focus your efforts in the improvement of the lives of others, you are helping your emotions get better.

Volunteering is also a worthy road to learn more. You will learn about various things, people, cultures which will contribute to both your personal and professional growth.

Volunteering helps you to uncover your hidden passion and talent, which enhances your self-confidence.

Where you volunteer is also great to learn, because they come with a different background and mindset which you are not used to.


There are lots of barriers which addicts face on the recovery road. A good number of these barriers make addicts to fall and relapse.

However, studies have shown that there is still hope for addicts to get back on their feet and live their normal lives.

As a matter of fact, there are living testimonials to show for it, of people who were once addicted, but are sober currently.

Volunteer work aids to prevent people from addiction in the first instance. There are different explanations for this, ranging from psychology to brain chemistry to social behavior and the likes.

There are also suggestions that, some addicts stay sober when they help.

One of the most proficient ways to fight addiction, is to stop it from happening in the first instance, and one of the best ways to stop it is to communicate effectively.

Now, there are some addicts who are unaware of the ills of addiction, all they are after is ensuring that they satisfy themselves on a regular basis.

Now, when people are informed about the adverse effects of addiction, there is a likely chance that some of them would make attempts to stop, even though it would be difficult to achieve this.

There are diverse ways to volunteer, and once they are carried out well, there would be productive results.

Volunteering against addiction shows to the public that, addiction is a menace which needs to be dealt with. When it comes to volunteering, people do not forget the message which is passed across.

Volunteering is a freewill service which should be done on a regular basis. When it done frequently, the attention of people will be captured, and it would be easier to make the message stick to their hearts and minds.

When the fight against addiction is intense, there is a high tendency that the rate of addiction will be on the decline. Everyone is encouraged to join the fight against addiction by volunteering either actively or passively.

Once all hands are on deck, we would have fewer cases of addiction.


Volunteering is a selfless activity which does not expect any form of reward in return. It is always an opportunity to reach out to people who cannot provide the help they need for themselves.

It is an altruistic activity where either an individual or a group of people, make certain services available for the purpose of benefiting an organization, group or a person.

In addition, volunteering is known for being an integral aspect of skill development, and it is most times employed to enhance the goodness or to step-up the quality of human life.

Not everyone knows the importance of the social media when it comes to volunteering, and this is why the social media happens to be an integral tool.

First off, you will need to improve and share your own special message. For you to be convincing enough about the benefits of social media, you will need to narrate your personal experience, how it has helped you and those who benefited from it.

You should also be ready to answer questions from people who are willing to know more about volunteering.

You should also be ready to answer questions from people who are willing to know more about volunteering.

The next step would be for you to make a solid and working feasible plan. It does not just boil down to posting once on the social media, there has to be a pattern which people will be familiar with, one which they can relate with.

For instance, you can decide to create a page on Facebook, and post three times in a week, using pictures of volunteers across the world to back up your points.

As a matter of fact, you can decide to share stories of fellow volunteers across the world, so that it would serve as a source of inspiration to those who are watching.

If you are someone who is on a strict volunteer outreach routine, you can make pictures and videos of each occasion, and upload on the social media.

You can also give an opportunity for people who are within your location to join. It would be an amazing opportunity for everyone to touch lives.


In a workplace, one of the biggest assets, is the ability to work together as a team, and when it comes to volunteering, it takes teamwork to a whole new dimension.

There are many benefits of volunteering and the list is endless, you are not only helping other people, but you are also helping yourself in terms of self-improvement.

Giving back as a volunteer enables you to cause positive change in a society, and also work towards achieving a great feat.

Volunteers do not care about monetary benefits, all they are concerned about is either helping people or animals, as the case may be.

A good number of us want to provide help for those who are not well-to-do as we are, we do not undergo the process of volunteering because of the benefits, we do it because we are poised to make a difference.

There are inherent benefits in volunteering, they are subtle, and we discover them as time goes on. To start with, volunteering helps to build a community.

By volunteering, your community is strengthened, the same goes for your social network. When you volunteer, you build connections with the people whom you are rendering help to, and you form bonds of friendship with other volunteers on the team.

Also, volunteering has been proved to put an end to loneliness. During the course of volunteering, you would be among people, hence, it would be unlikely for you to get bored and lonely.

Loneliness is one of the chronic epidemics in the world, and it is known to be a major cause of addiction. One of the best ways to put a permanent end to loneliness, is to volunteer.

Furthermore, volunteering enhances your social skills. If you are someone who does not know how to mix up with people, volunteering gives you the opportunity to learn.

Socializing steps up your physical and mental health, and when it is done consistently, it helps your brain to function better, and it reduces the risk of coming down with anxiety and depression.

If you want to make friends, and improve your health in your facets, and develop new skills, then volunteering is the best way to start.


A volunteer is someone who takes part in an activity, rendering selfless service without the need for any form of remuneration. This selfless service which is provided, are usually beneficial to either a person or a group of people.

Some people see volunteering as a means to step up their skillfulness, and in the process, there is an improvement in their quality of life.

The major feature which surrounds volunteering is happiness. This is what drives the volunteer to do more, all in a bid to ensure that the lives of the recipients of the service, changes for better.

However, there are some factors which volunteers need to take into consideration, as it would form the basis for an effective form of volunteering.

First off, volunteers are expected to be punctual when it comes to carrying out their duty. Some people are usually of the opinion that, since their services are given for free, they can work around the time.

This reason is not good enough, as the welfare of the recipients need to be put into consideration.

Also, volunteers are also expected to be responsible and reliable. Typically, there is usually someone who is in charge of volunteers, and the person would be expected to give out tasks and duties from time to time.

It is expected that all volunteers carry out these tasks as at when due, since it is what they signed up for.

Closely related to this, volunteers are encouraged to carry out their duties in the exact manner as directed. There should be no form of modification, except approved by the person in charge.

Often times, in volunteering, people feel things can be done in a better way, the only way to make this possible, is to discuss with the coordinator, and make him or her see eye-to-eye with you.

Above all, one essential role which a volunteer must always uphold, is to ensure that all confidential information is kept, alongside with complying with the procedures and policies of the organization.