Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Benefits of volunteering

3-minute read

Being a volunteer has lots of benefits. It can bring meaning and purpose to your life, while increasing your self-esteem and wellbeing. Volunteering can also relieve stress, and alleviate symptoms of depression. As well as having a positive impact on your community, volunteering can improve your relationships.

Volunteering explained

Volunteering is time willingly to help someone else without being paid. It can be formal or informal. Informal volunteering includes helping friends and family with things like babysitting, home repairs or caring. Formal volunteering usually takes place through a charity or other not-for-profit or community organisation.

There are many organisations that actively seek volunteers. These include:

What do you hope to get out of volunteering?

Volunteering can be very meaningful and enjoyable, and in turn be good for your mental health and wellbeing.

Volunteering can:

  • give you a sense of achievement and purpose
  • help you feel part of a community
  • help you feel better about yourself by improving your self-esteem and confidence
  • help you share your skills, learn new skills and create a better work-life balance
  • help combat stress, loneliness and social isolation, and depression
  • help you meet new people, which can help you feel more connected and valued

Social benefits of volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and build healthy relationships. It strengthens your ties to the community and exposes you to people with similar interests.

Volunteering also gives you the opportunity to practise and develop your social skills.

Because volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others, it can also help you develop a solid support base. As well as helping to protect you against stress and depression, volunteering can help with mental health recovery.

More information

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: September 2019


Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Loneliness & Isolation

Loneliness & Isolation Loneliness is a feeling of sadness or distress about being by yourself or feeling disconnected from the world around you

Read more on Lifeline website

Pets and mental health | Coping | ReachOut Australia

We all know that pets doing hilarious things win the internet, but did you know that pets can also be winners for mental health, too?

Read more on ReachOut.com website

Volunteering | Head to Health

Volunteering can be a great way to add purpose to your life. A few hours of volunteer work can improve your mood, while regular volunteering is linked to better overall mental health.

Read more on Head to Health website

What are Loneliness and Isolation?

Loneliness is feeling sad about being by yourself, particularly over a long period of time. Isolation is being separated from other people and your environment. Loneliness can sometimes be felt even in relationships or when surrounded by people.

Read more on Lifeline website

Tips To Keep Good Mental Health - for Young People | headspace

Good mental health allows you to deal with the changes and challenges life throws at you and live your life in a positive and meaningful way. Visit headspace to learn how.

Read more on headspace website

Mental health for blokes

Sometimes you might be feeling stressed, anxious or angry, or just need to talk to someone. There are services that can help.

Read more on WA Health website

Physical health is good for you. Did you know its also good for the mind

Playing a sport, jogging, cycling or even walking to work are good for your physical health. Studies are showing exercise is good for your mental health.

Read more on MensLine Australia website

Connecting with community | Head to Health

Being part of a community can have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing. Community involvement provides a sense of belonging and social connectedness.

Read more on Head to Health website

Being there to reduce mental health and alcohol problems - Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Who do you talk with when youre about to make a big decision? Its all about trust.Trust makes relationships work: it helps people start a family, buy a house together, or begin a new life overseas.Trusting relationships are also formed in our local community.

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

Getting involved | Head to Health

There is a strong link between getting involved in purposeful activity and positive mental health. Getting involved can help you develop a sense of purpose and feel more connected.

Read more on Head to Health website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo