The Volunteers in Partnership (ViP) program is a new volunteering program at the Jewish General Hospital. The ViP program strives to be tailored to clients of mental health services that will serve as a collaborators and in partnership between health care providers and patients. Previously, there was no volunteers in the psychiatry department, so this was an especially underserved portion of the hospital.
What does VIP programming look like?
This program concept emerged from a working group comprised of both patients and staff that met over a 2 year period. There are volunteer opportunities in both In-patient (within the hospital, on the ward) and Out-patient psychiatry (external clinic).
Some volunteer activities include:
- Socializing and chatting
- Playing board games and card games
- Playing ping pong
- 1:1 interaction with patients (reading to patients, walking with them, playing cards, talking)
- Individual accompaniment off the unit (on the grounds and off the grounds going to bank, getting coffee etc.)
- Movie nights and snacks
- Art and crafting projects
The Psychiatry department is in need of volunteers mostly on evenings and weekends for the in-patient ward, and during working hours for the out-patient department. Volunteers must be able to commit for a period of at least 3 months.
This program is still new and under development, so we are open to adding ideas that the volunteers are willing to share (ie, a class or time slot for a course, or presentation or if the person wishes to share a particular talent or skill!)
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!
“I think the most memorable ones…when we would have the deepest conversations. It’s when I would really get to know them […. For example, once] we were talking about what she [a patient] was struggling with, I remember that I was kind of recognizing her struggle…saying that must be really hard. She really appreciated having somebody to listen to her.”
-An in-patient volunteer
“It's great to stick my neck out and meet some people I already know and others with their curiosity and interest in having this information area that sometimes becomes a beacon of human connection”
-A volunteer from our Resource & Information Center
Phone: 514-340-8222 ext. 27719