Already a volunteer with the Cancer Society, Martina L. wanted to also do some volunteer work in a hospital setting, but was worried she might inadvertently bring home an infection to her family.
A volunteer position in the Patient and Family Resource Centre of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre seemed the ideal solution. One afternoon a week, Martina helps patients, family and friends find information about mental health.
She provides them with brochures, signs out books and videos, plus helps them surf the Internet or simply chat while passing the time until their appointment.
Martina says volunteering at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre has given her new insight into mental health issues and their challenges. She’s also developed friendships with other volunteers and enjoys feeling valued for her contribution.
Once she spent a whole afternoon helping a client find information about schizophrenia and new medications for treatment. “It was a quiet afternoon so I was quite free and this gentleman told me several times how much he appreciated my help and the help of all volunteers that donate their time at the hospital,” she explains.
“Volunteering is very rewarding,” says Martina. “It’s definitely worth your time and volunteers at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre are treated really well and are very much appreciated.”