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Image / Editorial

Volunteering Is Good For Your Mental Health

by Jennifer McShane
11th Oct 2016

Young women embracing in a field

As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re all about stepping away from the?negative stigma and encourage everyone to talk openly about the many things that can affect it. There are many things you can do?that are good for your mind,?and the latest study says that volunteering is one of them. We’ve long known the benefits of doing so, and it’s great to see it backed by research.

The’research published by the?British Medical Journal (BMJ) found there was a positive association between volunteering, good mental health, and emotional wellbeing, particularly for volunteers over the age of 40.

The study examined data relating to questions asked annually of 5,000 British households between 1991 and 2008, and the answers people gave about volunteering (20% said they volunteered), happiness and their general wellbeing.

Interestingly, it was people in the 40 and older age bracket who appeared to have the greatest health benefit from doing so and positively, this only increased as people got older. These added health benefits were felt by people who said they volunteered frequently compared to those who didn’t.

Researchers suggested the reason for this could be linked to the fact that the younger generation viewed volunteering in a more negative light – as something they had to do to be perceived as a better person – ?and hence they didn’t feel that it affected their wellbeing in a genuine way.

As we brace ourselves for the onslaught of winter, we will see more and more volunteers out and about; trying to raise funds for those that need it most. It’s always important to take time to consider those less fortunate and applaud those who generously give up their time, for their actions are helping so many.

Something to think on for the week that’s in it.

See the study HERE