Amanda - Volunteer

Amanda discusses her volunteer work at Ontario Shores, as well as a positive experience she had while working with a senior.

Text Transcript

I heard about Ontario Shores through U of T where I completed my degree in Psychology, and I have always been interested in the mental Health field. I felt that volunteering at Ontario Shores would be a great way to gain hands on experience in the field.

I started off in the research department and moved to the Drop in Centre, and currently I volunteer with vocational services and the Supporting Education Program, as well as the Geriatrics Psychiatry Unit.

One experience that stands out for me would be volunteering with a senior on the Geriatrics Psychiatry Unit. I usually would accompany her on walks, and take her out to sit in the backyard. Once when we were sitting out and we want back inside, she held onto my arm and I felt that it was a really reassuring gesture on her part. It showed that she felt really comfortable being around me.

It’s been an extremely rewarding experience. I have learnt a lot about mental health. Particularly that people with mental illnesses can, and do recover and that they go on to living fulfilling lives. I have also been able to educate family members and friends about mental health as well as the stigma. I think it is just great to give back to the community and to provide support to those with mental illnesses.

I think volunteers provide a really valuable role because they are the viable link to the community and they also have the ability to educate community members about mental health and especially stigma. They also play a role in alleviating the stigma as well.

My experience at Ontario Shores has been incredibly amazing and really valuable because I have gained a lot of experience and I have gotten a chance to meet a lot of people here including the patients, the staff, and other volunteers. I would recommend for anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in the mental health field, to come to Ontario Shores and gain the experience because it is a great facility.
If you would like to volunteer at Ontario Shores, please visit our website- and click on, “Join our Team.”