In this digital age there are more opportunities for connection with others than ever before, and yet many experts are seeing increasing numbers of people reporting loneliness and seclusion. Humans are social by nature and desire human contact, and while the ability to post, tweet, share, like, and comment online is a tool to facilitate communication, it cannot necessarily replace the connection felt by meaningful in-person relationships.
Prolonged feelings of loneliness have been linked to serious health problems, including depression, anxiety, reduced immune response, and increased risk of premature death. In fact, a recent study suggests sustained loneliness and isolation can be as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
One way for individuals to feel more connected to those around them is by volunteering. Volunteering can increase self-esteem and build a sense of community, gratitude, meaning, and purpose.
CPA Alberta Volunteer Days
In 2018, CPA Alberta, as part of the CPA Assist program, introduced CPA Volunteer Days as a way to provide opportunities for Alberta CPAs to connect with their community and network with colleagues in a way that centered around creating strong mental health and resiliency habits. Working with the local non-profit organizations such as the Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, and Ronald McDonald House, over 150 CPAs and CPA candidates gave back to their community. Due to the great response and positive feedback, a second round of Volunteer Days was held in November of 2018.
This spring, CPA Volunteer Days will again be held as part of CPA Alberta’s Elevate 2019: Celebrating Progress and Achievement. The volunteer events take place at various locations throughout the province between June 3 to 7.
Give back to your community and reap the benefits of volunteering by participating in the CPA Volunteer Days! To learn more about the volunteer opportunities and to register, visit: www.cpaalberta.ca/Events/Elevate/CPA-Volunteer-Days.
Remember, there are also several other ways Alberta CPAs can volunteer within the profession, or in the community. For more information, visit the Volunteer Opportunities page on the CPA Alberta website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, please reach out. CPA Assist provides confidential 24-hour support to Alberta CPAs, CPA candidates, and their immediate families. Call toll-free at 1-855-596-4222 or visit www.cpa-assist.ca for more information.