People with a mental health problem

Mental illness is far more common than you think, with one in four people experiencing a mental health problem at some point. Help counter the shame and stigma surrounding mental health.

TimeBank's mentoring project, Back to Life, offers practical and emotional support to young adults recovering from mental health issues. The scheme helps adults aged 18-35 in Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham and Croydon to reach their full potential. Back to Life matches young adults who have experienced a mental illness and are looking to build their personal, professional and social skills back up, with a same-sex mentor of a similar age.

Here are some major charities that tackle the issue of mental health and that you can volunteer with:

  • Mind has a network of local groups across England and Wales and a lot of their support work relies heavily on volunteers. The best way to volunteer with Mind is to contact your local branch There are lots of local Mind shops too.
  • Samaritans relies on volunteers to provide confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide. There are lots of roles to choose from, not just listening.
  • Rethink provides support for everyone affected by severe mental illness. Volunteers provide support in the community, with housing, employment and training. People who are affected by mental illness themselves can also volunteer as campaigners and fundraisers.
  • Sane operates two main services that need volunteers in London. SANEline is a mental health helpline that provides emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness. Volunteers need to be able to give 4 hours per week for at least one year. SANEmail provides an alternative channel of support for those affected by mental health issues. As a volunteer provide emailers with emotional support and practical help. You’ll need to be able to volunteer for 4 hours per week.

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