Volunteering at Oxfordshire Mind means working for one of the largest mental health organisations in the County. Our volunteering roles vary, from working on the Benefits for Better Mental Health line to volunteering on the Information Line are volunteers are key to the successful running of our work as a mental health charity.
Here one of our Information Line volunteers explains why she volunteers for Oxfordshire Mind and how it helps her with her own mental well being:
” I love volunteering as an information line volunteer because mental health is something that I am interested in and something that has affected my family closely. My mother suffered with mental health problems all through my childhood, and in result of this she tried to take her own life twice. In time I suffered with mental health issues when I was a teenager. Mental health is something I believe that people do not associate with as much as they should, and in some people you cannot even detect any signs. Through secondary school whilst I was undergoing counselling, none of my school peers and friends had any idea what I was going through.
I decided that my career path would lead me into helping people suffering with mental health problems, and eventually I want to become a counsellor for children and young adults, and my experience has built this career path, I don’t want people to suffer the way I did. The way my mum did.
Becoming a volunteer has helped me to aid some individuals with their mental health problems. I may not be saving lives or conducting 1-1 cognitive behavioural therapy. But sometimes being able to give people an answer or some kind of a breakthrough in support they may need and to point them in the right direction of help is enough to feel like the information line can make a difference. Being able to look through their seas of emotion and pin point the major issues in their stories and provide them with the information they need to get the help they deserve.
Being a volunteer has helped to give me the experience I need for my future as well as opening my mind to all aspects of mental health and the different ways people can handle their mental health issues.” (Tamara)