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To disclose or not: does a decision tool help?
  1. Debbie Peterson,
  2. Sunny Collings
  1. Social Psychiatry & Population Mental Health Research Unit, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand

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What is already known on this topic?

Disclosure of mental illness in employment must be a personal decision made by the individual dependent on each specific set of circumstances.1 Previous research has focused on the pros and cons of disclosure not on how to make the decision.2 The nature of legal protections and work environments affects the decision to disclose,2 and because legislation varies between countries, comparisons between jurisdictions must be cautious.

What this paper adds?

  • This paper highlights the dilemmas faced by people deciding whether to disclose experience of mental illness in the workplace. It describes the results of a process that could reduce difficulties in making such a decision.

  • It adds a tool (decision aid) with the potential to help people with experience of mental illness, and those advising them, to reduce ‘decisional conflict’ (mean improvement with decision aid on Decisional Conflict Scale at 3 months was −11.32)


  • Disclosure is not just a one-off decision—it needs to be considered throughout the employment experience. A trial of only 3 months is not long enough to …

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  • Competing interests None.