With an increased prevalence of mental health concerns in a post-pandemic world, the need to break the taboo, myths and stigma surrounding mental health has become more imperative than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a series of disturbances for people across the globe, with increased rates of symptoms of and disorders like anxiety and depression.
An essential component of volunteering in the mental health sector is to generate awareness about the contrast between mental health and mental disorders. Volunteers play a primary role in sensitising the common folks about terms related to mental health, such as depression, schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder, to avoid the casual use of such labelling terms. Sensitisation enables the general public to understand the extent of seriousness associated with each of such conditions, refraining them from using it as a language to discriminate or as an abuse lingo.
Advocates of mental health are assigned the task of recognising and disseminating information about an intersectional approach to analysing mental health, which is interwoven with diverse aspects of our life and environment. They elaborate on concepts related to daily functioning and related mental health using facts and statistics from verified resources.
Statistically speaking, 1 in 5 individuals experiences challenges in their lifetime, from birth to death, for which they seek social support that makes them resilient. This social support is furnished by volunteers of mental health who showcase the path of happiness, productivity and overall well-being to individuals in distress. Therefore, to offer a realistic picture to commoners, it is necessary to use statistics that can be taken at face value.
There is an increased need for conversations surrounding mental health concerns faced by individuals to avoid an escalation of symptoms that may lead to the eventual development of disorders. Volunteers have the duty of extending the necessity of mental health from spaces of discussions such as mental health professionals, students of psychology and from higher socioeconomic structures to spaces where ideas of mental health are considered stigmatic and inaccessible. They bridge the gap between inaccessibility and availability by spreading awareness through occasions like World Mental Health Day, which is celebrated every year on 10th October to bring attention to this aspect of health.
Volunteering in spaces that promote mental well-being not only makes the world a better, compassionate place for fellow human beings but also has advantages for the person involved as volunteers. During COVID-19, several individuals realised the importance of supporting others since it also furnished them with a sense of purpose and they felt responsible as a member of the community, creating for them a sense of belongingness.
Furthermore, volunteering offers the space to meet new people who may share similar interests, thereby allowing the opportunity to make connections for a lifetime. Additionally, these connections may offer their assistance when their fellow volunteers find themselves in situations that are distressing. Working with a community in itself allows for a person to widen their horizon of perspectives and boost their self-esteem. It offers volunteers a sense of accomplishment, contentment, empathy and patience.