National Volunteer Week is April 15th-21st. Read CMHA WW volunteer James’ story about why he’s passionate about mental health and giving back:
Mental health is my passion. I like helping others with mental health issues, because I feel I can relate with them. I started receiving counselling services myself 12 years ago.
I also enjoy the process of growth within individuals. People come into the program as newcomers, not knowing what to expect, and they come out as somebody completely different. They become experienced and wiser.
In relation to my life, what made me want to get involved with CMHA WW is that I personally had an experience with mental health issues myself. I received treatment through 1st Step. 12 years later, I am a completely changed person, feeling healthier, fulfilled, and wiser. I have learned so much, and the memories are precious to me. Being at 1st Step had given me so much help in my recovery process that I wanted to give back in return.
I love the staff here, and every new peer that arrives for services through CMHA makes me happy to be of help. I’ve learned countless things: workplace skills, and life skills, too. There are so many fun activities to do, from peer support groups, to hiking groups and gym groups. I also volunteer with Spark of Brilliance and Beautiful Minds. I look forward to these groups, and I always have a reason to be happy, because the work is so rewarding.