Last week, we had an opportunity to speak with Ross Wilson, one of our mental health specialists.

One of the standout points from Ross’s interview was his commitment to using his time to spread kindness as means to help people and yourself. Volunteering time and energy to spread awareness and contribute to charitable causes is one such way of spreading kindness. We at PsyMood encourage participation in community programs and organizations that work to make a positive difference as it can offer mental health benefits to everyone involved. It fosters meaningful relationships, a sense of accomplishment, and inclusion. It helps individuals stay connected with the community and break away from isolation.

Here are some community programs around Canada that are on a mission to give back. Read more to get involved and lend a helping hand.

Sending Sunshine

Roughly one third of all Canadian senior citizens live alone, with a large number of them staying in long-term care homes. As a result of isolation, these citizens can face multiple physical and mental health challenges – a situation that was amplified by the ongoing global pandemic. Sending Sunshine is a non-profit organization based out of Toronto that aims to empower and connect seniors using the power of written word. This program collects handwritten letters and cards from around the globe and distributes them to the many seniors living alone.  The messages can be those of support, encouragement or even humorous.

Youth Empowering Parents

Every year Canada invites tens of thousands of immigrants and their families to build their lives in this country.  Oftentimes, newcomer families have multiple generations. We find that the younger generations and children have an easier time adjusting to a new environment, new culture and new language.

To harness this strength, Youth Empowering Parents has launched a series of programs across Canada and other countries. This program gives children and youth the opportunity to become teachers to their parents and older family members. There are workshops centred around ESL, cultural and arts, new skill development and even job search.  It also gives the youth an opportunity to develop valuable skills in leadership and communication.

The Friendly Calls Program

We all love the feeling of hearing a friendly hello. Engaging in conversations just to reminisce and talk about things you enjoy can provide a great serotonin boost. With this thought in mind Red Cross Canada launched The Friendly Calls Program during the pandemic. The program  pairs specially trained volunteers with isolated Canadians for weekly phone calls to provide support, companionship, and links to resources in the community. Volunteers are able to contribute to locations across Canada, and can do so from the comfort of their homes.  If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, ring someone up and say hello.

Meals on Wheels

Timely access to well-balanced and affordable meals is a basic human right. There are many seniors and members of the vulnerable population that are homebound and unable to meet this need. Meals on Wheels is a non-profit organization that operates nationwide, and their goal is to provide nutritious and affordable meals to those unable to provide for themselves. This service accommodates homebound citizens in dietary and grocery planning while allowing them to maintain independence.  If you’ve got a car and/or a valid driver’s license, you can contribute to the delivery team. As a volunteer you’d be picking up meals at a central location and delivering them directly to the homes of several seniors in your area.

Pflag Canada

The “coming out” process can be difficult. Oftentimes, the understanding and acceptance period following “coming out” is preceded by fear and anxiety. This can cause strains and long-lasting impacts on relationships. Pflag was founded by parents who wished to help themselves and their family members understand and accept their LGBTQ2S children. Volunteers can get involved as peer-to-peer support counsellors and help Canadian parents and their children communicate openly regarding issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

Acts of kindness and service can be of any magnitude. There are several other ways to give back to the community than the ones listed above.  If you help an elderly neighbour pick up groceries or clean their yard – that is also a meaningful act of kindness. The goal is to extend a helping hand.

PsyMood prides itself on providing online and affordable diverse mental health support for newcomers to Canada by matching our users to mental health specialists that  understand their culture and speak their native language. You can start your free no obligation introductory session today.

If you feel the need to talk to someone about your mental health, PsyMood is here for you. Our mental health specialists can speak your language and understand your culture. Sign up today to speak with a specialist. We offer sessions at any time, anyplace!

Talk with a specialist that understands you.  Sign up today for a free 15-minute session.