Get up and participate!
There are many ways to get involved. Listed below are a few local San Diego organizations that welcome volunteers.
- HHSA Adult Mental Health Services
Volunteer Contact: Delfina Monsalud (619) 237-8438
- County of San Diego:
Aging & Independence Services
Volunteer Contact: Linda Hopkins (858) 505-6448
- San Diego County Suicide Prevention Council: www.sdchip.org/spap.aspx
The San Diego County Suicide Prevention Council provides oversight, guidance and support in the implementation of the recommendations made in the San Diego County Suicide Prevention Action Plan. The San Diego County Suicide Prevention Council’s role is to lead the charge to make suicide prevention a priority in our county. There are many opportunities for broad-based involvement in identifying, developing and monitoring of the local Action Plan.
- Mental Health America: www.mhasd.org
The San Diego chapter of the national organization Mental Health America of San Diego is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and achieving victory over mental illnesses through advocacy, education, research and service. Contact Mental Health America to find out about volunteer opportunities.
- Mental Health Systems Inc: www.mhsinc.org
The Mental Health Systems mission is to improve lives and instill hope by using new and creative treatment strategies while respecting time-proven methods of intervention. MHS programs include vocational placement, homeless outreach, case management, employment readiness, mental health court, dual diagnosis treatment, and community outpatient clinics. Opportunities include coordinating events, resource development, customer service, general office support, fundraising and giving campaigns, information technology, research, and work on special projects. All volunteer candidates are asked to successfully complete a series of pre-screening requirements including a background check.
- NAMI San Diego: www.namisandiego.com
NAMI San Diego is the local branch of a grass-roots, non-profit, national organization founded in 1979 by family members of people with mental illness with the mission to Support, educate and advocate for people with mental illnesses and their families. At the heart of NAMI San Diego’s mission is the sharing of information and striving to end the stigma associated with mental illness. Volunteer opportunities exist to support many of their programs and services such as: a Helpline, support groups, educational meetings, newsletters, a lending library, an annual walk, and a number of classes on mental illness held at various locations throughout San Diego County. New volunteers are required to attend a Volunteer Orientation. Please contact NAMI San Diego about your interest in volunteering and find out more about the next scheduled orientation.
- NAMI Stigma Busters
NAMI StigmaBusters are dedicated to the elimination of ignorance, prejudice and discrimination against people with mental illnesses— by changing public attitudes from fear, rejection, and isolation to community understanding, acceptance, and support. Visit their website to receive regular “Stigma Alerts” and get involved by contacting local news media, legislatures, business and professional leaders, neighbors and social acquaintances with information that improves their understanding of mental illness. Members have access to letter templates to either protest stigma perpetuated in the local news and entertainment media, protest offensive advertising and praise accurate media representation.
- North County Lifeline: www.nclifeline.org
North County Lifeline’s mission is to build relationships and deliver services to the children and families of North County that resolve problems, increase skills and support self-reliance. Services include counseling and behavioral health for youth, families and adults; after school programs; mentoring, referrals and case management for at-risk youth; emergency assistance, case-management and self-sufficiency classes for families; anger management, domestic violence and safe parenting classes; legal, mediation and fair housing services; free tax preparation and financial literacy programs.
- San Diego Youth Services (SDYS): www.sdyouthservices.org
A nationally recognized, comprehensive non-profit organization that has helped stabilize the lives of more than a half-million young people and their families since 1970. They work to fight the tragedies of homeless youth and youth in crisis. A large number of volunteer opportunities are available, including but not limited to: working with adopted youth, mentoring, outreach to homeless youth, volunteering at teen homeless shelters, administrative and donor development, and special projects.
- Senior Community Centers: www.servingseniors.org
Senior Community Centers provide nutrition, social and medical services, advocacy, homeless outreach, housing assistance, and intergenerational activities for seniors age sixty and over. They also offer skill based activities for seniors and are always looking for volunteers to assist in leading fun activities.
Volunteer Contact: Jared McCannell (619) 235-6572 ext.343
- Casa de Amparo: www.casadeamparo.org
Partnering with the greater San Diego community, Casa de Amparo assures that children and their families receive unique and innovative services for healing, for stopping child mistreatment of any kind, and for ending generational cycles of abuse. Over the years many volunteers and professionals have dedicated their lives to developing additional programs that provide the highest quality care and services for children and families. A variety of volunteer positions are available and include working directly with Casa Kids, helping with fundraising, maintenance, administration or Board leadership.
Volunteer Contact: April Pendergraft (760)754-5500 ext. 17
- Friendship Clubhouse
Neighborhood House Association’s Friendship Clubhouse is a member-driven psychosocial rehabilitation program for adults with severe and persistent mental illness, including those who may have a co-occurring substance use disorder. Friendship Clubhouse focuses on socialization, social and independent living skills enhancement, wellness and recovery, recreation and vocational rehabilitation. The goal of Friendship Clubhouse is to empower members to re-establish their normal roles in the community and to successfully re-integrate into community life through active participation in the planning and achievement of their personal recovery goals. Participation in the Friendship Clubhouse is free.