People who are looking at setting new goals for 2017 are being asked to consider volunteer work.
The call, from mental health charity Mind, comes after studies have shown that giving time to help others can help improve both people’s physical and mental health.
As people think about the year ahead, they are being asked to consider volunteering with Mind.
A spokesman for Mind said: “Volunteering can help people in need, worthwhile causes and the community in general, but the benefits can be even greater for us, the volunteer.
“Volunteering and helping others can help reduce stress, combat depression, keep us mentally stimulated and provide a sense of purpose.
“It can also counteract anger and anxiety. Giving in simple ways can help those in need and improve our own health and happiness.”
Mind has a range of volunteering options, with many who access the service, going on to use their own experiences to help others or even secure paid employment.
The spokesman added: “We don’t all have the same amount of money, but the majority of us do have some time on our hands.
“The gift of giving some of your time to others is often more valuable than giving money and often more satisfying, whether we devote our lifetimes to a service, or just give a few hours each day or a few days a year, this gift of time makes a difference.”
Our series of articles in the run-up to Christmas, supported by Hartlepool and East Durham Mind, aims to encourage people to reach out to others and let those struggling know support is available.
Today, people are being asked to offer some time to help others. This time of year can be overwhelming for some people and even if they don’t take you up on the offer, it’s nice to know someone is thinking about you and wants to help.