Research out today has revealed that up to 58% of mental health service users can see their condition improve as a result of volunteering.
An Institute for Volunteering Research study into schemes set up by Community Service Volunteers for mental health service users in Nottinghamshire also found one in three volunteers reported an improvement in their physical health.
In a separate study into another CSV scheme in London, for people with long-term mental health problems, the Institute of Psychiatry found that 20% of participants said their general health had improved. Forty-four per cent of these were from a BME background.
The results were included in a CSV report on volunteering, mental health and social inclusion. Deputy chief executive Bill Garland said: “It is clear that there are significant benefits both for service users and the NHS by investing in volunteer programmes. When volunteering opportunities are properly supported and carefully created, everybody can make a valuable contribution regardless of their background and can experience positive changes in their own lives in the process.”