Mental Illness Disclosure in Organizations: Dynamics Between Discloser and Confidant
Wessel, Jennifer L
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Employees with a mental illness regularly encounter situations where they must make decisions regarding the extent to which they discuss their stigma. Research shows that when the confidant reacts in a supportive manner it is beneficial to the individual disclosing. Research on stigma disclosure has not yet defined what differentiates a supportive response from an unsupportive one and there is evidence to suggest that people are unsure of how to best respond to a disclosure. In a series of three studies I seek to develop a better understanding of disclosure interactions by first examining what constitutes a supportive versus unsupportive confidant response by creating a typology of support. Second, I seek to examine whether those with a mental illness versus those without a mental illness perceive the supportiveness of responses differently. Third, I will examine what methods of disclosure are most effective in eliciting a supportive response.