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The therapeutic power of volunteering

  • Colette Fegan and Sarah Cook


There is growing evidence from smaller evaluative studies in the USA and anecdotal papers in the UK that supported volunteering can help recovery and can be a pathway into paid work for people with serious and fluctuating mental health conditions. It allows the person to take risks and test out a working environment. This opportunity can integrate their experience of mental illness into a valued identity and provides opportunities to engage with a world of work. We recommend that mental health professionals consider ways of providing volunteering opportunities as part of a recovery-oriented service within their organisations.


  1. Appreciate the benefits patients gain from volunteering.
  2. Understand the principles of a supported volunteering scheme.
  3. Appreciate the potential value to the patient of volunteering within health and social care settings.

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Corresponding author

Colette Fegan, Principal Lecturer Occupational Therapy, Sheffield Hallam University, 11-15 Broomhall Road, Sheffield S10 2BP, UK. Email:


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The therapeutic power of volunteering

  • Colette Fegan and Sarah Cook


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The therapeutic power of volunteering

  • Colette Fegan and Sarah Cook
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