Updated: Feb 15
Did you know that volunteering can benefit your mental health? According to the Mayo Clinic, research shows that volunteering lowers rates of anxiety and depression, particularly for those ages 65 and over.
Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering can give people a sense of purpose, as well as reduce stress—which also lowers the risk of illness, including the risk of developing heart disease or stroke, and lowers the risk of mental health problems.
Volunteering releases dopamine, which increases feelings of pleasure and relaxation. A Longitudinal Study of Aging even found lower mortality rates in people who volunteer compared with people who do not.
In addition to the mental health benefits, volunteering can improve physical health. Volunteering often involves physical activity, which is good for both physical and mental well-being.
Research shows that people who volunteer report being in better physical health than people who do not volunteer. According to Harvard Health Publishing, volunteering can lower a person’s blood pressure; this may be due to the physical activity and reduced stress that volunteering can provide. Studies also show that volunteering can help people feel more connected socially.
Volunteering also provides opportunities for learning new skills, improving skills, and contributing a person’s own unique knowledge and skills to a worthy cause. In addition, it provides opportunities to meet new people—and is also something that can be done with people you already know.
Volunteering doesn’t have to be a major time commitment. You could volunteer your time just one or two hours a week, or for an event or other occasion, and still make a positive impact on your community—and improve your mental health in the process.
Volunteer Opportunities at I’RAISE
I’RAISE has several volunteer opportunities available, with both virtual and in-person options.
We currently have openings in our Genesis Academy tutoring program, our See Her Be Her Coaching Program for Black girls, and our Peer Wellness Advocacy Program.
Our Genesis Academy tutoring program offers access to free, quality one-on-one virtual tutoring to youth in a safe environment, consistent support, skills, and meaningful connections that can be used for a lifetime. Apply here to be a virtual tutor or virtual mentor to a child or youth.
Being a virtual coach in our See Her Be Her Coaching Program can raise your confidence, leadership skills, and problem-solving abilities. Apply here to be a virtual coach in our See Her Be Her Program, and empower Black girls.
Volunteering helps familiarize students into the social work profession, allowing them to gain meaningful, hands-on experience and expand their networks. Apply here to be a social work or peer wellness coach volunteer, which are in-person human services positions.
Apply online if you are interested in becoming a virtual tutor, virtual mentor, virtual coach, social work volunteer, or peer wellness coach volunteer. The time commitments range from one and a half to two hours per week to four hours per week. Click here for more information on I’RAISE’s volunteer opportunities.