Exciting Volunteer Opportunity with Mental Health America
Are you a caring person interested in helping others?
Do you want to add fulfillment and satisfaction to your life?
Would you like to make a difference in someone's life?
Volunteering with Mental Health America of Northeast Indiana (MHANI) can give you these benefits. Not only does volunteering benefit the people you are helping, but also it benefits you personally. Studies show that volunteering can lessen your risk of depression, give you a sense of purpose, reduce stress levels, and even help you live longer.
We recently met with Joseph Blazier, the Director of Guardianship Services at MHANI. Blazier explained that volunteers help make their program more effective. MHANI has nationally certified guardians who are held to a high degree of ethical standards. Each guardian's goal is to keep their clients’ best interests in mind. However, the number of guardians available to serve these 4,000 plus individuals is limited - and so is their time and energy. That's where volunteers can be a huge asset to MHANI.
Volunteers are considered a "community friend" for an at-risk adult. Volunteers help the MHANI guardians keep in touch with their clients and ensure they are receiving the best possible care. By personal visits, the volunteers help determine any needs of the client, including physical, emotional, medical and personal. This one-on-one interaction gives the volunteer insight in to how the individual is doing and whether or not they need anything. In addition, regular social interaction benefits the clients' mental and emotional well-being. If they have any concerns during their visit, the guardians report to the Guardianship Coordinator to handle.
Volunteers work with the clients and guardians to make sure that each individual has a quality life and the best care possible. Volunteers visit with an assigned client at least two times per month in their home environment. MHANI has clients in waiver homes, group homes, and nursing homes. Establishing a relationship with your client and advocating for them in their environment is a must. As Blazier says, "Everybody needs a voice." Volunteers give these individuals a voice so they can be protected from neglect, abuse, and fraud.
Everybody needs a voice.
MHANI invites individuals, groups, businesses, and families to volunteer. There are also opportunities for internship. As MHANI says, All you have to do is care; we will teach you the rest. MHANI provides orientation and job shadow training for its interns and volunteers. Volunteers with MHANI must be 21 years of age and older; have a clean criminal history; and be able to dedicate 2-4 hours per month. MHANI asks that its volunteers commit to one year so that the individuals get comfortable with them.
All you have to do is care; we will teach you the rest.
Lexy Smith says that her internship with MHANI "is a hands on opportunity to see firsthand what working in the mental health community is like." She says, "I work amongst wonderful staff there and gain real life experience working with this population of individuals."
MHANI is an advocacy and education non-profit organization that serves over 4,000 individuals in 11 counties in northeast Indiana. The goal of MHANI is to promote the mental and emotional health of the community by offering advocacy, support services, education, and hope. It offers services for individuals with mental health conditions, substance use disorders, and disabilities.
Guardianship services protect vulnerable individuals from neglect, abuse, and fraud, according to MHANI website. Through their adult guardianship services, MHANI serves vulnerable adults in the community who are unable to make sound medical and financial decisions for themselves. These vulnerable adults are highly susceptible to abuse, and appointing a guardian to protect their best interests ensures that these adults receive the best care possible. An effective guardianship can drastically improve a person's quality of life.