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Something to declare? The disclosure of common mental health problems at work

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JournalDisability & Society
DatePublished - Mar 2011
Issue number2
Volume26
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)179-192
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article presents research findings that suggest there is a further dimension to be added to existing understandings of workplace disclosure of common mental health problems. Experiences of participants in two recent studies on mental health and employment illustrated that, firstly, while people may talk to their employer about emotional distress in general terms, they do not necessarily discuss the effects on their mental health in medicalised language. Secondly, people may not mention anything at all because they do not perceive what they are experiencing as a 'mental health' issue that might warrant the involvement of their employer. These findings raise questions about conceptualisations of mental health. The article suggests that an enhanced focus in public and policy discourse on concepts of mental well-being and positive mental health, as matters of universal relevance, may lead to earlier recognition of and better support for common mental health problems at work.

    Research areas

  • employment/benefits, ill/disabled adults

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