Disclosure of Mental Health Disabilities in the Workplace

  • Kim L. MacDonald-Wilson
  • Zlatka Russinova
  • E. Sally Rogers
  • Chia Huei Lin
  • Terri Ferguson
  • Shengli Dong
  • Megan Kash MacDonald


There are a number of barriers that contribute to the low employment rates of people with mental health disabilities; these barriers exist at the individual level, the programs and services level, and the systems, policy, and societal level (Anthony et al. 2002). One issue that intersects with all three is disclosure of psychiatric disability in the workplace. Individuals with mental health disabilities must weigh the personal benefits and risks of disclosing their psychiatric disability and make a number of decisions about disclosure given their particular employment circumstances. In addition, employment programs and services, and especially supported employment practitioners, must determine how to represent their services to employers, decide how to inform employers that they work with people with mental health disabilities, and plan with the individual to handle disclosure. Employers must be aware of state and federal policies regarding disability-related employment issues in the face of societal stereotypes, personal experiences with, and misunderstandings about people with mental health disabilities. And while legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA 1990) is in place to protect rightful access to employment, people with mental health difficulties may have little knowledge or understanding of these policies or how disclosure of disability and reasonable accommodations may allow them to enjoy full access to employment opportunities.


Mental Health Mental Health Condition Mental Health System Vocational Rehabilitation Psychiatric Disability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim L. MacDonald-Wilson
    • 1
  • Zlatka Russinova
  • E. Sally Rogers
  • Chia Huei Lin
  • Terri Ferguson
  • Shengli Dong
  • Megan Kash MacDonald
  1. 1.Department of Counseling and Personnel ServicesUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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