Who can volunteer?
Typically, individuals must be 18 or older to volunteer in our programs; however, we will try our best to find a valuable opportunity for anyone wanting to get involved/contribute their time… with CMHA. In particular, we encourage people who have experienced a mental illness themselves to volunteer as a way to engage with the community, and provide great inspiration to others. Volunteering is a way to give back to the organization and make a difference.
People volunteer for different reasons. Many want to gain experience, acquire new skills, meet new people or expand their network of contacts. Others want to give back to their community, help someone or promote a worthwhile activity. They volunteer because it makes them feel good.
If you’ve ever wondered about the value of supporting CMHA, consider these facts:
- One in five people will experience a mental health problem during their lifetime.
- One in eight Canadians will have a condition serious enough to receive hospital care.
- Canada has one of the highest suicide rates of children and youth under 21 in the world.
What kinds of volunteer opportunities are there?
There are many ways to volunteer. The opportunities available to you will vary depending on the branch or region of CMHA that you get involved with. Volunteering could mean anything from providing bereavement support to people who have lost someone through suicide, to getting involved in fundraising activities like bingo or corporate golf tournaments, to sitting on a board, to providing office support. to working on a special project or program.
How much time does it take?
Positions are available to accommodate just about any schedule, and can be a regular weekly or monthly commitment, or a one-time activity.
How do I become a volunteer?
To begin, you will need to fill out a volunteer application form. [NOTE: Application forms are available from your local CMHA branch. Use our branch locator to find the closest CMHA office, then contact the branch or check the branch website for more information about the volunteer process.] The information you provide on this application will help us find an opportunity for you that matches your interests. If you are unsure about specific programs you are interested in, or would just like to get more information before applying, then contact the CMHA branch office.
While the process may vary from branch to branch, once you have submitted your application, you will likely be asked to do a brief interview—either by phone or in person—so that we can get to know you and discuss your interests. In some cases, you may be interviewed a second time by the CMHA program or branch where you would be working. This will help us to make a decision about your placement. The last step will be to go through police information and reference checks. While these checks may sound intimidating, this is a standard procedure when engaging people to work with a vulnerable population.
It’s hard to say exactly how long this whole process will take. We will do our best to respond to your application, and complete the interview process as quickly as possible. Timing will really depend on the time of year, staff workload and the opportunities available in your desired program.
If you don’t hear back from us right away, we haven’t forgotten about you! We appreciate your patience and your continued interest in volunteering with CMHA.