If you volunteer do you disclose your condition?

When you go to have an interview for volunteer work, do you disclose your diagnosis? What do you say?

I say not unless you need some type of accommodation.

They do not need to know otherwise

In the case of one position, yes. I drive a school bus on a volunteer basis. It is generally considered unethical to not disclose medical conditions. I also have to pass an annual physical exam, which I do, to certify me to drive said school bus. The fact that the school employees know me personally and how reliable I am plus the fact that I’ve passed my medical mean it’s not a problem. I am the first driver they call when they need someone because I am considered the most reliable and also one of the safest drivers.

Disclosing isn’t always a bad thing and those of us who are higher functioning do need to push back against the stigma that comes with this condition.



I think the job would involve working with kids until the 8th grade more or less. But I don’t know for sure. And to be honest I’m quite scared because they are very perceptive.

I’m waiting for a phone call to know some more details. I just can’t stand being around the house doing nothing all day.

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If you are working around kids it is probably better to disclose. If your doctor knows about this and is okay with it (I hope you discussed this with him/her first), be sure to emphasize that. Getting a letter even would be a good idea. Those of us with mental illness have plenty to offer back to our communities and should not be shy about it.

Good on you for doing this – I wish you luck with it.


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I have no letter, but the tdoc at the hospital considers this an option. Nevertheless I will only see my pdoctor one month from now, so I can’t have the letter.

I haven’t made up any plans yet, but because I feel cornered in my house I feel I should do something. I’m afraid of the kids to be honest.

I think that’s fine. If your doctor is okay with it and they can call him for a reference, that’s good.

They wear me down, too. I need to take some quiet time after each field trip to ‘recover’. A bus full of teens can be hard on anyone’s nerves. I suggest not doing the volunteer work every day at the start – make sure you build some breaks in for yourself.


Been working at charity shop now over a year
The subject of my health never came up
They never asked

And you do not have to disclose either

I work with kids, and I never told anyone about my condition. It is none of their business, and I don’t require special accommodation. It is up to you. I’m afraid I would get fired if they found out though.

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I worked with kids for years as a special ed paraprofessional (special ed aide).

I needed accommodations at work so I told my principal, another coworker, and the Human Resources Dept. about my mental illness - at the time, bipolar.

I was Harassed by different people afterwards - they even transferred me out of the school, I had to fight to get my old job back.

Its a big risk telling Employers and co workers about your mental illness.

Employment discrimination and stigma is a very real problem

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Besides the woman (acquaintance) was supposed to call me, she didn’t.
And I am not to keen on phoning her.

She’s part of the family therapy group on fridays we go to… and she will probably mention there that I phoned her but she won’t call me till then. Or maybe I’m just plotting everything in my mind.

Anyway, this staying at home doing nothing and with no one to talk to besides the old folks - that don’t talk much of anything - has got to stop, but It’s like a freaking train coming to a wall and the breaks don’t work. What do I do!

I would wait for some kind of answer from this woman - it shouldnt be long.

Once you have your answer, positive or negative, you can move on - you can always apply to other volunteer jobs in the future

Nope, but the EIP and the care home I was in at the time acted as references for my first volunteer job.

I’m still there 4 years later and they never ask me any questions!

For my other volunteering role it was a pre requisite “Lived Experience” as a peer support volunteer.

Do you have access to transportation? Why don’t you go out to a coffee shop or a library and just sit and read? Even when you don’t interact with them, being around other people has a positive effect on the brain.

Hello miss @cj9556 that is a good idea too. I went to the beach the other day but then I felt awful afterwards. My father says that when I get out and come this always happens.

I think if u only feel comfortable doing this

I mostly do things I only am comfortable with. “I have it easy”

But not doing things out of fear - terror - at all makes me suffer.

so you want to face your fears:) sometimes your illness doesn’t define who you are as a person so there is a lot of stigma out there, I would be careful

So you are certified and drive a bus full of kids around?

This sounds like a episode of the Simpsons…now come on pixel .