Author Topic: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother  (Read 910 times)

SpendyMcSpend

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Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« on: August 01, 2018, 07:54:49 AM »
My brother has a severe mental illness (major depression, social anxiety and even psychotic/schizophrenic features).  However he is a person and he gets bored.  He cannot work in a full-time professional job due to the cyclical nature of his illness (in a word, it makes him pretty unreliable when he has to be hospitalized or medicated which can be often).  He wants to work or volunteer or *Something* part-time.  He is also receiving SS Disability due to the severity of his illness, so he has a limit on what he can make (if anything I'm not sure what it is).  So perhaps volunteering or some other help/work could be ok? I need ideas. Long-term we hope that his medication options get better so he can fully participate but for now, it's touch and go.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 08:24:31 AM »
Try an animal shelter.  Working with animals has benefits for depression spectrum people. 

Noodle

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2018, 11:02:09 AM »
Would online or at home volunteering suit him? There are projects where people can help transcribe historical documents and participate in citizen science projects, for instance. There are also projects where people make things like baby blankets for donation. (I remember one that involved knitting sweaters for penguins, although I think that has wrapped up now!) He could do something with a purpose but also flexible enough to work around his less healthy times.

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2018, 11:06:23 AM »
Would online or at home volunteering suit him? There are projects where people can help transcribe historical documents and participate in citizen science projects, for instance. There are also projects where people make things like baby blankets for donation. (I remember one that involved knitting sweaters for penguins, although I think that has wrapped up now!) He could do something with a purpose but also flexible enough to work around his less healthy times.

Definitely.  He has a computer/internet.  Do you know of any projects or organizations in particular? 

former player

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2018, 11:23:58 AM »
Try zooniverse.org for ideas.

I like Galaxy Zoo, myself.

Noodle

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2018, 11:27:04 AM »
The Smithsonian has a big project!  https://transcription.si.edu/

So does the National Archives: https://www.archives.gov/citizen-archivist/registerandgetstarted

And here's a list of projects that includes both history and science: https://libguides.bentley.edu/microvolunteer

SunnyDays

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2018, 11:35:37 AM »
Maybe try the local food bank or mental health association.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2018, 01:34:26 PM »
Does he have good writing skills?  Wonder is an internet research company that allows you to work as few or as many hours as you want, and I find it pretty fun.  You have to apply and do a sample research request, and there's a bit of a learning curve, but it might work for him.  He'd need to stay below the disability earnings limit, obviously.

I have been in a similar situation myself, and I did a lot of knitting while out on disability.  I found it relaxing and self-paced.

diapasoun

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2018, 02:38:57 PM »
For knit/crochet donations, if that appeals to him: here's one list, and here's the Crochet Guild of America list.

I know a lot of guys are like "ew, knitting," but knitting and crochet can be surprisingly helpful for folks with anxiety and depression -- it's repetitive and rhythmic, it's portable, and you get a useful object out of it to boot.

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2018, 02:47:56 PM »
Thanks for the ideas.  He's not great at writing (he is more musical and into gardening and farm type stuff).  But the research he might like.  I don't know about knitting either but I could suggest.

lizzzi

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2018, 03:32:53 PM »
I second the suggestion for volunteering to help out at animal shelters. A close family relative is severely bipolar--Medicaid, SSI, Section 8 housing, the whole bit--can't work because of severe apathy and social anxiety...but does very well with animals. She doesn't necessarily keep her volunteer work for a very long time, when when she does work with the shelters, it goes well.

Polaria

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2018, 12:07:04 AM »
Would he like to pick up and learn a music instrument?

HappierAtHome

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2018, 12:14:29 AM »
If he likes gardening, would volunteering for his local community garden be a good fit?

Sibley

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2018, 08:43:04 AM »
Surprisingly, there may be volunteer opportunities at many organizations that seem very high contact but need someone to sit and stuff envelopes. So any organizations that he's interested in at all are worth a call.

SpendyMcSpend

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2018, 02:57:35 PM »
Would he like to pick up and learn a music instrument?

He is a very talented guitar player!  I suggested learning another string instrument so that is a good idea.

debbie does duncan

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2018, 09:28:15 AM »
YOGA!
 My yoga teacher started doing yoga to help with her depression. She now teachers others to teach yoga .
I have also noticed feeling better mentally and physically after doing yoga  (and biking ).
Yoga slows things down, it brings an inward calm but it does take a couple of months to notice.
 It also brings a routine to your life . Almost as if you cant be depressed now you have to go to yoga.
I go to a studio in town and have an unlimited pass. Going regularly is cheaper than not going as I am mustachian!

GreenEggs

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2018, 07:44:47 PM »
I had a great guy with similar problems help build our house.  He was very meticulous, but was a little quirky.  He was very intelligent & I really enjoyed working with him.  Construction labor is in high demand and builders are pretty tollerant with workers that need some time off if they understand what the person is dealing with. 


Also, since you mentioned that he's good at guitar, it reminded me of the musicians that play on the downtown streets of the college/tourist town where we live.  If I knew how to play an instrument I'd enjoy jammin' a little for the tourists sometimes.  I've always thought it would be cool for a pair of musicians to duel back and forth across Main St.  The tourists would eat it up.  But, I can't even play the radio very well...!  :(

justajane

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Re: Ideas for occupations/hobbies for mentally ill brother
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2018, 09:33:03 AM »
What about playing his guitar at hospitals, hospices, or nursing homes? I guess it depends on if such an environment would trigger his depression or not.

Here is one national organizations that connect people:
https://www.musiciansoncall.org/