How Volunteering helps with mental well-being

As last Wednesday (10th October) was World Mental Health Day, we are focussing on mental well-being this week, as mental health needs to be looked after as much as physical health and it has been proven that Volunteering can be one way to improve mental health.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 70 million workdays are lost because of mental illness in the UK every year, meaning that mental illness is the leading cause of sickness and absence from work.Three Elderly Person riding bycycles along a path by a lake

Loneliness, although not classed as a mental health problem, is closely linked. Having a mental health problem increases your chance of feeling lonely, and feeling lonely can have a negative effect on your mental health.

It is therefore essential that employers recognise that they need strategies in place in the workplace to ensure that their employees are mentally healthy at work, helping them to deal with factors causing them problems.

Volunteering is considered to have a beneficial affect on mental health, and it has been proved that it has a favourable affect on depression, life satisfaction and wellbeing, especially in the over 50’s age group.  Volunteering offers a chance for greater social interaction and meaningful activities, giving a sense of purpose in life, and reduces the feeling of isolation, especially at a time when retirement may be looming (as retirement is known to increase the risk of depression).

Community Action Dacorum, as part of their Local and European Active Seniors project , which is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union,  are holding an event titled:  ‘HOW KEEPING ACTIVE HELPS WITH MENTAL WELL-BEING’ on the 7th November at the Quaker Meeting Room in the Old Town from 10 am – 12.30pm and lunch will be provided!

Guest speakers and local and international partners of the Active Seniors project will be there to inform you about how volunteering can help with mental well-being, how businesses can encourage well-being among their employees, and how people can improve their mental well-being by volunteering in the local community.

Whether you are a local employer, or someone with an interest in this subject, you are welcome to attend.  For more information  please contact Alison May on 01442 253935.