Managing Disclosure of Personal Information: An Opportunity to Enhance Supported Employment

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Objective: To first provide an overview of studies that explore mental health disclosure in the workplace; including factors that influence the decision to disclose, and differing approaches to disclosure (binary, multidimensional, and evolving and ongoing). Second, to provide a critical overview of existing tools designed to help clients manage their mental health disclosure decisions. Method: Electronic searches of PubMed, PsycINFO and ScienceDirect were undertaken, excluding all articles published prior to 1990. The following search terms were used: mental health disclosure, employment, severe and persistent mental illness, psychosis, schizophrenia, supported employment, individual placement and support (IPS). Results: We found that mental health disclosure involves a complex decision-making process, and yet clients of IPS supported employment are currently provided with little structured guidance on how to manage their personal information in the workplace. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: More extensive investigations are required of existing mental health disclosure tools before they can be developed into a standardized intervention for practitioners. However, preliminary evidence suggests that facilitating better disclosure decisions and management of personal information is a promising area of future research. This line of investigation is likely to find ways to enhance competitive employment outcomes in supported employment for people with severe and persistent mental illness.

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