Seek out organizations in your community that are making a difference by improving behavioral health through activities such as:
- Public education
- Policy and advocacy work
- Coordination of care
- Addressing access barriers
While direct service is usually limited to trained clinicians and health care personnel, many of these organizations rely on volunteers to serve on boards and committees, plan events, assist with advocacy efforts, or help with administrative tasks. Give your time to initiatives and organizations that are helping to expand access to behavioral health services. Examples include:
- Epworth Children and Family Services employs a holistic approach to help children overcome severe emotional and behavioral challenges caused by abuse and neglect. Volunteers are engaged in a variety of ways, from mentoring to life skills training to facility improvements.
- Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri represents the public’s interest in all matters relating to mental health. The organization engages nearly 300 volunteers annually as it runs a range of initiatives including support groups, training for health care and law enforcement professionals, educational seminars, and advocacy work.
- Places for People serves those struggling with mental illness, particularly those facing additional challenges such as chronic homelessness, substance use disorders, and primary health issues. Their comprehensive services range from intake and assessment to therapy to housing and employment, and trained volunteers work directly with clients and behind the scenes.
- Our Little Haven serves some of the youngest in our community and their families, focusing on early intervention through assessments and screenings, treatment, and support. Behavioral health services are provided regardless of ability to pay, which means the organization relies upon community support through donations and in-kind gifts.
- Great Circle serves 26,000 children, individuals, and families each year through centers across the state. The organization provides a spectrum of behavioral health programs, including crisis services, counseling, 24-hour care, parent resources, care management, training, and education.