Aware, Ireland’s leading organisation providing support, education and information services for those impacted by depression and bipolar disorder, is urgently seeking Donegal volunteers for its Support & Self Care Group service in Letterkenny.

Aware relies on the passion and dedication of its volunteers to ensure that the organisation can continue to provide free support services nationwide, essential services that have a profound impact on individuals and families throughout Ireland.

According to the latest estimates from WHO, depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide and 450,000 (1 in 10) people in Ireland alone.

A further 45,000 (1 in 100) people have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Aware is committed to supporting both the individual and those indirectly impacted as family and friends, through its wide range of support, education and information services.

Aware is currently recruiting Donegal volunteers for its Support & Self Care Group service in the area. No prior qualifications or experience is required, as comprehensive training as well as ongoing support and education is provided by the organisation.

The Aware Support & Self Care Groups are peer to peer support meetings for individuals who experience depression, bipolar disorder or mood related conditions. Each meeting is facilitated by two volunteers and has an average of eight attendees.

There are 32 groups nationwide, meeting on a weekly basis.

Donegal Support & Self Care Group:

  • Pearse Road, Letterkenny – every Tuesday at 8pm.

    There are also opportunities to volunteer with the following Support Services. Volunteers provide support remotely from their own homes for the Aware Support Mail and Life Skills Online services.

    The Support Line service operates from the Dublin office.

    • Aware Support Mail: All emails are responded to within a 24hr period and provide support and information for both the individual and concerned family members or friends. Operates 365 days a year and offers an individual with good computer skills and reliable broadband the opportunity to volunteer remotely.
    • Life Skills Online: A free 8 module course designed to equip people with the tools to deal with the stresses of everyday life. The volunteer’s role focuses on remote support, encouragement and feedback, helping clients to stay engaged and keep working through the content.
    • Aware Support Line: A crucial service providing callers with telephone support and information about issues relating to their own mood or the mood of a friend or family member who may be experiencing depression, bipolar disorder or other mood related conditions. Operates 365 days a year from Dublin, 10am-10pm.

      As part of the recruitment process, all volunteers are guided through a series of training sessions to teach them how to respond to various scenarios by allowing clarification, consideration of options and encouraging helpful actions while adhering to Aware’s ethos, policies and procedures.

      It is important that potential volunteers are compassionate, possess good communication skills, take direction and show enthusiasm and passion for mental health and the work of Aware.

      It is also vital that applicants are willing to make a weekly commitment to Aware and participate in ongoing training as required.

      • "Volunteering with Aware is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. I think for the volunteering experience to work, you have to connect with what the organisation is trying to do, get good training and feel like you are well supported. My experience with Aware has ticked all these boxes and then some.”
      • “Volunteering for Aware has changed my life. I absolutely love it. I am so proud of myself and how my own confidence has grown. If I feel like I haven’t accomplished much in a week I simply look back to my time on the support line and the knowledge that I’ve helped someone makes me realise how much I really have achieved.”
      • “Volunteering with Aware has taught me so much, but most importantly what I have learned is how to be a better listener.”
      • “Some people call the Support Line thinking their lives are in a mess. I love to talk with them, listen and help them work through their problem. We discuss helpful options and they finish feeling better and much clearer about the next steps in their recovery."

        For more information on each opportunity, please visit: www.aware.ie/volunteer or phone Aware on 01 6617211.

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