Five Ways Volunteers Make Recovery Possible

Carol Arbuckle, family friendVolunteers at The Well Community help make recovery possible! Those who give their time and talents at The Well bless members in a number of ways that support and encourage them as they pursue full, meaningful lives in the midst of struggles with mental health.

They provide nutritious food.

Many individuals who live with serious mental illnesses struggle to plan and prepare meals on top of the challenges of managing their conditions, and some lack a place to prepare food. But, nutrition is an important factor in pursuing recovery.

Each week, numerous volunteer groups bless members of The Well by preparing and serving nutritious meals. For some members, the lunches and dinners they eat at The Well Community are the only substantial meals they have all week. These meals also provide opportunities to socialize and build connections with others who understand their struggles and offer support.

They help members grow spiritually.

For many members of The Well Community, faith is essential to coping with the challenges of mental illness. Those who give their time to serve at Thursday Night Life help members grow in their faith by providing opportunities to worship, fellowship and learn. Each week a volunteer gives a message from God’s word, and a group leads members in praising God in song. This weekly time of worship allows members to be strengthened in their trust in the Lord and encourage one another to draw strength from him.

They teach practical skills.

Practical skills that allow individuals living with mental illnesses to use their time meaningfully and productively can play a significant role in recovery. They can build confidence and provide a place of escape from disturbing symptoms. For some, these skills can even provide a means to generate income. For example, when volunteer Ann Tabony teaches art to The Well Community members, she’s not only showing them how to create paintings or sculptures. She’s giving them a place of calm and imparting a skill that can enable some members to produce pieces for sale.

They help provide a safe place to live.

Finding safe, affordable housing is a huge hurdle for many who live with serious mental illnesses. Without a suitable place to live, it’s extremely difficult to follow a treatment plan or practice good self-care. The volunteers who perform repairs and maintenance on Jacob’s House, The Well’s City of Dallas licensed boarding house, help give the men who live there a stable place to call home, and in turn give them a huge advantage in pursuing recovery.

They build friendships.

As volunteers interact with members of The Well Community, they discover firsthand that those who struggle with mental illnesses are people with backgrounds not that different from their own. And, they find that members have much to give.

The friendships that volunteers build with members are key in fighting the stigma that often surrounds mental health conditions—stigma that can stand in the way of recovery. By building personal connections, volunteers are able to see members as individuals rather than lumping everyone who struggles with mental health conditions into a group defined by stereotypes.


We’re so grateful for the many who give their time and talents to serve members of The Well Community like family! The Well is always looking for volunteers. Think you might be interested? Don’t hesitate to call or email! We would love to answer your questions and find the best place for you to use your unique gifts. Contact us.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about The Well, mental illnesses and the role of faith in recovery, as well as how you can make a difference in the lives of those who live with these conditions.

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