Workplace mental health disclosure, sustainable employability and well-being at work: A cross-sectional study among military personnel with mental illness

R.I. Bogaers*, E. Geuze, J. Van Weeghel, F. Leijten, D. van de Mheen, N. Rüsch, A.D. Rozema, E.P.M. Brouwers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
90 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose:
Disclosure of mental illness to a supervisor can have positive (e.g. supervisor support) and negative consequences (e.g. stigma). However, research on the association between disclosure and sustainable employability and well-being at work is scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the disclosure decision (yes/no), experiences with the decision (positive/negative) and sustainable employment and well-being at work among military personnel with mental illness (N = 323).

Methods:
A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted. Descriptive and regression (linear and ordinal) analyses were performed. Comparisons were made between those with positive and negative disclosure experiences.

Results:
Disclosure decision (yes/no) was not significantly associated with any of the measures of sustainable employability and well-being at work. However, positive disclosure experiences were significantly associated with higher scores on almost all measures of sustainable employability and well-being at work. Those with negative disclosure experiences reported significantly more shame (Mpos = 2.42, Mneg = 2.78, p < .05) and discrimination (Mpos = 1.70, Mneg = 2.84, p < .001). Those with a positive disclosure experience, reported significantly more supervisor support (Mpos = 3.20, Mneg = 1.94, p < .001).

Conclusion:
We did not find evidence that the disclosure decision itself is related to measures of sustainable employment and well-being at work. In contrast, how participants had experienced their (non-)disclosure decision was significantly related to almost all measures. This emphasizes the importance of the work environments reactions to disclosure and mental illness in the workplace. Future research and interventions should focus on increasing the likelihood of positive disclosure experiences through creating a more inclusive work environment, with more supervisor support and less stigma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-413
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • ABILITY
  • ALCOHOL
  • ATTITUDES
  • DECISION-MAKING
  • DISORDERS
  • Disclosure
  • Mental health
  • Military
  • PEOPLE
  • PERSPECTIVE
  • Stigma
  • Sustainable employability
  • Well-being

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