In this powerful first-person story, volunteer manager Megan Cassar reveals her traumatic experience with postnatal anxiety and depression following the birth of her first child, an illness that went undiagnosed for 18 months. Her struggle to successfully recover led Cassar to not only work as a volunteer to help break down the stigma of postnatal depression but to also rethink her role as a leader of volunteers who confront mental illness in the workplace. Cassar’s poignant insights into why and how volunteer managers can support those who are suffering will help all volunteer leaders set an example in the workplace.
“As leaders of volunteers, we have a duty of care to a diverse range of people,” Cassar writes. “We may not directly manage every volunteer in our organisation but, as the leader of those volunteers, we have a responsibility for them. We are their advocates. We want to ensure that our volunteers feel supported to be open and honest about their volunteer experience as well as any other experiences outside of the workplace.”