What is the Mental Health Integration Support Program
The Mental Health Integration Support program (MHIS) is a volunteer resource service run by Community Volunteer Connections, in cooperation with Fraser Health staff at assigned facilities. This program has been operating since 2009!
Volunteers in the MHIS program support residents at the Riverview Lodges in Coquitlam, and the Timber Creek facility in Surrey. Both facilities treat individuals in short-term and long-term recovery.
As the MHIS program coordinator, Cheryl recruits, screens, places, and trains volunteers. She is the main contact person for the program, and works with volunteers in a team setting, to support residents in their social and emotional well-being while in mental health recovery.
What Do MHIS Volunteers Do?
MHIS volunteers participate in planned and un-planned activities. During a shift, a volunteer may set-up and watch a movie with residents, take part in arts & crafts activities, or go on a leisurely walk with residents. Volunteers also encourage residents to participate in activities to help them build a greater degree of independence.
As part of a community of caring individuals, volunteers work with Fraser Health staff and Cheryl in a collaborative work environment, to achieve common goals for residents. Activities are organized and supported in the best interest and well-being of residents. To participate, volunteers must commit to six months, for 4-hour shifts once a week.
How Do I know if this volunteer role is a good fit for me?
Volunteering as a MHIS volunteer is the perfect opportunity for you if you’re 19 years or older, want to gain hands-on experience working with residents in a public health facility, and agree with the following statements:
- I have knowledge of mental health issues, or
- I want to learn more about working with adults living with mental health issues.
- I have a strong interest in the public health field, or social sciences.
- I am accepting of differences and respectful towards others.
- I have excellent communication skills.
- I’m a responsible person and understand this volunteer role requires commitment.
- I’m able to work independently and as part of a team.
- I understand I will need to pass a criminal record check and vulnerable sector check.
- I understand that I need proof of COVID-19 vaccinations to volunteer in a public health facility.
What if I have questions or concerns about the program?
If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, or any concerns about the MHIS volunteer program, please reach out to Cheryl, who is the main point of contact for the program.
How Do I Get Started?
To volunteer at a Fraser Health facility in Surrey or Coquitlam, email Cheryl a message telling them why you want to volunteer as a Mental Health Support volunteer, and include relevant experience.