NAMI Snohomish County is currently looking for a volunteer to become our affiliate lead for this year's NAMI Walk.
There are many other volunteer opportunities at NAMI Snohomish County.
Those of us involved with the education, treatment and recovery from brain illnesses know a significant number of people who, for a variety of reasons, volunteer their time and energy in ways they can be helpful. This writer has been attending support groups led by volunteer facilitators for over twelve years. I believe I am as knowledgeable and functional as I am fortunate to be today because of the dedication and compassion of the many volunteers who have helped me over the years I have been participating in DBSA, MHA and NAMI activities. For me, volunteers have been great blessings in my life.
Itís also not difficult to understand how those of us who volunteer benefit as well. This is true whether we ourselves have a diagnosed mood disorder or we are a companion, family member or caregiver of someone else who does. In addition to gaining a lot of experience and insight about these illnesses and how they can be managed successfully, a large number of mental health volunteers acquire insight and applied skills that can serve them in important areas of their lives:
Ongoing and successful volunteer assignments often open opportunities to future gainful employment. I have witnessed many good volunteers find perfect employment as a result of their performance in volunteer positions. That is a very nice thing when it happens, and it happens regularly. Good volunteers who are well-placed in assignments free of the stresses of pressured environments can better focus on learning to be effective in bringing about positive outcomes.
Itís not uncommon for a volunteer to regain confidence in their skill levels, techniques and health and come to realize they can work just as well in a paying job when it is a good match for them. Thatís a time, certainly, for celebration.