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The mission of MHAGC is to maximize the mental and emotional wellness of our communities by promoting prevention and increasing empowerment through our education and support programs.
The Mental Health Association of Greater Chicago is working to ensure that all members of our community have the opportunity to live full lives, free from the stigma and prejudice associated with mental health issues. We strive to empower individuals to maintain and improve their mental health; while giving people with the tools necessary to identify situations in which they should seek help for themselves or someone close to them.
Welcome to the MHAGC volunteer page!
Thank you for considering MHAGC; we are delighted that are you interested in learning more about our organization and what we do. At MHAGC, volunteers form the core of our organization. We believe that volunteers are front and central to our success as we work to expand our reach and realize our vision. We hope that you will take the time to read this entire page, as it will give you much of the information you need as you consider a volunteer role.
Please enjoy learning about our organization, and thank you for your consideration!
MHAGC is 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was founded in 1957 by a Chicagoan named Clifford Beers. Mr. Beers experienced mental health issues through out his life, resulting in his participation in treatment in a variety of mental health settings around Chicago. Mr. Beers dedicated his life to reducing mental illness, preventing unnecessary hospitalizations, and improving mental health services in the Greater Chicago area.
MHAGC continues to honor these causes, as well as others. We currently concentrate our efforts on the development and implementation of educational programs that seek to make emotional wellness a health priority in our schools, homes and communities. Through education, we are attempting to increase mental health knowledge and reduce the stigma that so often prevents people from seeking help when they need it the most.
Our programs are based on the premise that the mental health needs of our community members and their families can be met within their home, school, and community environments. MHAGC is committed to reducing all incidents of suicide in our community, with a focus on certain vulnerable groups such a teens and veterans. We achieve this through our programs and services:
Our cornerstone program is the Learning2Live? (L2L) program. It offers a 10 week curriculum that is designed to educate health professionals, law enforcement officers, teachers, counselors, school staff, parents and students about 13 mental health disorders common in adolescents including suicide, depression, self-mutilation, anxiety and eating disorders.
Written in conjunction with leading clinicians and educators, the 2Tough2Bully program was created to educate students, parents, and administrators on techniques to combat bullying. This program consists of educational programs and materials, as well as online resources, that seeks to reduce the negative effects of bullying in our schools.
MHAGC is committed to helping our nation’s veterans and their families dealing with mental health issues and the changes related to coming home. With more than 10 times the amount of veterans lost to suicide than to combat operations in the same time period, there has never been a more important time for a program in support of our veterans!! A new battle begins for our veterans and their families when they come home.
Teaching with a Heart
Teaching with a Heart is the MHAGC teacher education program. The purpose of the program is to educate teachers about how to create an optimal environment that is conducive to learning. Brain based learning is a research based strategy that is effective in achieving positive educational outcomes.
The focus of this program is to support the education of our children so they may develop strong cognitive skills, think clearly, solve problems and be happy and capable of using their brain to thrive.
MHAGC is an education-based organization and does not treat individuals experiencing mental health issues. However, we offer a referral service that connects individuals seeking assistance to the community-based organization best suited to meeting their needs.
INFORMATION FOR POTENTIAL VOLUNTEERS
In order to better meet the needs of our organization, and to improve the experience of our volunteers, we are taking time to reorganize our volunteer structure.
We appreciate all volunteer inquires that we receive, and are constantly amazed by talent that our volunteers put forward. If you have reached out to us, or plan on doing so, please be patient during this restructuring process, and allow us some time to respond to your inquiry.
As we streamline the process for accepting new volunteers online, we will be adding detailed descriptions for each volunteer position. Please take the time to read these descriptions in order to better understand the role, and the commitment associated with each position.
There are a number of steps involved in becomming volunteer:
1) Select a volunteer position on VolunteerMatch!
2) After reviewing your inquire, we will reach out to you by email to begin the process. Anticipate sending us your resume so that we can review your skills and experience and make your volunteer experience as satisfying as possible.
3) If you are a good match for a position, you will be invited to come into the MHAGC office for an introductory meeting.
4) The volunteer packet will be presented, reviewed and signed. As some of our programs contain information and content that is proprietary, you may be asked be complete a confidentiality and conflict of interest agreement in additon to the volunteer packet.
5) Volunteering can begin!
Please note: Many of the positions are organizational, focusing on leadership, outreach, fundraising, and administration. Unfortunately, we cannot offer volunteer positions that have direct contact with individuals with mental illness or mental health related issues.