Charities desperately fill a long-standing gap in community support for the most vulnerable, and mental health support has become one of the newest, high-demand expectations on non-profit organizations, oftentimes sorely under-prepared for such needs. Christopher Goisse is well aware, with a solid background in criminal psychology and years of experience as a technical nurse.
Most charities focus on physical needs: money, food, shelter, clothing, and medicine. However, Christopher Goisse notes mental health is ambiguous, hard to measure, and oftentimes unstable, requiring repeated help and therapy. With charities under incredible pressure to obtain the support of big donors who want tangible results, mental health achievements are hard to prove and, as a result, given a lower priority.
Taking a Different Approach
However, charities have the opportunity. They can leverage the power of volunteerism. Many people who have worked and spent careers in psychology and psychiatry still want to help. However, they are frequently blocked, unintentionally, their talents wasted, by a charity paradigm that doesn’t know what’s available or how to ask.
Now, psychiatry and psychology aren’t professions like a roofer or painter; you can’t just pick up the trade and practice. Christopher Goisse points out anyone with the skillset of a professional counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist has to practice with a license. That said, plenty of professionals still have their credentials and need cases to help. They just need to be connected with a charity that needs their assistance. Christopher Goise argues this is where charities need to target the help they need and proactively make the connection. Fortunately, the Internet’s tools make communicating extremely easy at a meager cost.
A Sitting Stone Gathers no Moss
Charities that want to address the mental health needs of their constituents need to use a targeted marketing strategy. Define the need, define the demographic that would meet the need, and focus energy on appealing to that audience to respond to the charity’s call to action. Whether through social media, the traditional Internet, direct personal marketing, or all the above, Christopher Goisse recommends charities who need mental health help make the first step and seek out assistance. Volunteers will respond; they just need to know where to assist and participate actively.