Mental Health and Volunteering - The Outcome

by michelle.bsparkx on May 15, 2017 - 11:11pm

I volunteered, with my mother for support, at the Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal race, on April 22nd 2017, by handing out race packages and t-shirts to those participating in the race. I specifically put t-shirts in a bag with four safety pins while those in front of me handed the bags, or race packages, to the runners with their bibs. Runners have the chance to participate in the charity challenge after registering for the race and fundraiser for their chosen charity.  The charities relating partly or directly to mental health would be Montreal Youth Unlimited and Tel Aide. Montreal Youth Unlimited relates partly to mental health by helping youth with their physical, emotional, educational, relational and spiritual health through their love of God. Tel Aide relates directly to mental health as they try to help people with their mental health by offering to listen to them over the phone, in English or French, and is available twenty-four hours a day, everyday. Through this volunteer work I help with the issue of mental health because without volunteers the race wouldn’t occur which would mean the charities wouldn’t get more money, donations and support which would mean there would be less help coming from that organization and less help with the issues surrounding mental illnesses.

Huffington Post article “Instagram's #HereForYou Campaign Is The Mental Health Movement We Need” discusses the recent hashtag used on instagram as a part of their campaign about mental health for the mental health month of May. The campaign highlights three people who have made a positive environment surrounding mental health. The article, written by Isabelle Khoo on May ninth of this year, provides examples of posts other instagram members have made using the hashtag mentioned above. The theme of this article is mental health which is the subject I have written about in the past and is connected to my volunteer work because runners, after registering for the race, have the opportunity to enter the Charity Challenge and raise money for the organization they chose which is only made possible through this event and with the help of volunteers such as myself.

Over the past few months I have not only written multiple articles on mental health and Social Anxiety Disorder (S.A.D.) but also done various other things to raise awareness about different mental illnesses and attempt to get others to understand more about these illnesses. I participated in a Public Speaking Contest speaking about S.A.D., created a sculpture about Depression and put together short stories, poems and words, written by myself, into a book for my final project in another class. I have always been somewhat aware and concerned about how people are feeling and was always a really sensitive and shy person but it was in secondary three that I began learning about mental illnesses in class. I have done a lot of personal research myself on Depression and S.A.D., looked at a lot of self expression regarding these issues and read books such as Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser. I’ve known a few people with Depression, some of which have come close to ending their life, and S.A.D.. From all of this learning and these experiences, mental illnesses, specifically Depression and S.A.D. have become very important to me and is why I have done so much regarding this issue, such as this volunteer work.

 

~♡~

 

I sit here and wonder

If they're alright

To face all these blunders

It is quite the fight

 

How do they face this

Towering beast

That claws at their face and

Stays by their feet
 

It's dark and it's harsh this

Path they must walk

Crawl on the ground and

Pause once again

 

Tearing at throats I

Hope they survive

Not one more victim

We must stay alive

 

~♡~

 

Comments

Your post was really inspiring. The poem you wrote was really touching as well. If you are interested in working with organisms that help individuals suffering from mental illnesses, you might want to take a look at Association de Montréal pour la Déficience Intellectuelle. The goal of the organism is to, “provide help and support to people with intellectual disabilities in a way that promotes further growth, so that they reach their full personal and social potential,” and “seek to empower [their] members and foster their resourcefulness as individuals and as a group” (http://amdi.info/wp/about-us/mission/?lang=en) . The families of people with intellectual disabilities are helped by the organism which, “provides information and support, creates opportunities for the sharing of common experiences and offering mutual support [and,] supporting their active involvement.” AMDI also helps the people with intellectual disabilities by, “reinforcing their skills and abilities,” “facilitating their active participation in the community” and, “encouraging their civic involvement.” It also assists the community by, “educating the community about intellectual disability,” “creating opportunities for contact between the intellectually disabled and the public,” and, “sparking interest in encouraging and supporting the social inclusion of the intellectually disabled.” If you desire, you can volunteer with this organism situated at 633, Crémazie East Street, Suite 100 in Montréal, by sending an email at info@amdi.info, mentioning your field of interests and your availability, or you can call them at (514) 381-2300 (http://amdi.info/wp/about-us/volunteers/?lang=en) . You can help by, “working as (or assisting) facilitators for our activities and workshops, providing accompaniment to [their] members, doing translation, writing, editing, proofreading, graphic art or photography for [their] publications, helping with filing and data entry, etc.”

About the author

I am an avid creator, interested in writing, collages, drawings, typography, hand lettering, calligraphy, motion graphics and much more.