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Published on April 15th, 2016 | from CAMH

Passionate about volunteering: Making a difference inside a CAMH classroom

By Corey Sermer and Meg Lindley, Volunteers at CAMH’s TDSB High School Program

Volunteering is a great way to give back to a cause you feel passionate about. It’s an occasion to meet new people, and if you’re lucky enough, it can be an opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life.

We’ve been volunteering at CAMH’s TDSB High School Program for three years now, and our experience has been all of that and more. We work regularly with students who require their educational needs be met in a specialized environment. As part of a team of volunteers, and with guidance from TDSB teachers Janice Karlinsky and Sara Austin, we’re making a difference.

We work with students on school assignments, develop life skills such as resume building, and in many cases, we’re there for them as friends.

Volunteering at CAMH is something we both love doing, and our reasons for doing so are unique. Corey was inspired to volunteer at CAMH because of his experience living with a family member who has a mental illness. For Meg, mental illness is something that she’s worked to overcome personally. In any case, the opportunity to learn more about mental illness, and to guide, mentor and advocate on behalf of those living with it has been gratifying.

What began as a volunteer opportunity grew into a passion, and we both look forward to the hours we spend working with students enrolled in the TDSB High School Program every week.

The spring semester is beginning to wind down and we can honestly say we’re already looking forward to the start of a new school year in September. This is a time when we get to see returning students after summer break and welcome new students into the CAMH classroom family.

Volunteering at CAMH has been extremely rewarding for us both. The opportunity to meet new people, to learn more about mental illness, and to make a difference in the lives of the students we work with is something we truly appreciate.

Outside of volunteering, Corey is a master’s student at the University of Toronto in medical sciences, and Meg is a child and adolescent mental health care practitioner.

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