Public attitudes toward disclosing mental health conditions [2017]

This study examined public perceptions about mental illness, specifically investigating individuals’ concerns about disclosing a mental condition and the potential outcomes of doing so. This survey asked 570 adults whether they would disclose a mental condition in four different scenarios: seeking health care, employment, academic or vocational counseling, and for background checks. Respondents were then asked to identify the reasons they would agree or refuse to disclose. Only in a health care situation were respondents very favorably inclined to disclose. A significant percentage of people in all scenarios were unwilling to disclose, citing privacy as a primary concern.

Colleen Donnelly, PhD

Social Work in Mental Health, Volume 15, 2017 – Issue 5