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Examining Impact Of Mental Health Self-Disclosure

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a new report which reviews existing public health literature on how people who receive mental health services can be affected when they disclose this fact to others. Entitled “Self-Disclosure and its Impact on People who Receive Mental Health Services,” the report which is also based on a series of interviews with individuals involved in this process examines the potential benefits and risks of this experience.

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The report assesses the consequences for a number of perspectives including different societal settings and the unique considerations mental health professionals may face when disclosing their own use of mental health services.

Traditionally, negative public attitudes associated with mental illnesses are one of the most persistent problems individuals receiving mental health services may face. Research has shown direct contact with persons who openly acknowledged receiving mental health services can help overcome these negative attitudes and misconceptions. The report looks at a range of factors that may influence how effectively and beneficially this information can be disclosed in different settings (the family, the workplace, etc.).

Developed by SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) this report also offers specific recommendations on what kinds of further research are needed on this topic as well as other factors that individuals contemplating self-disclosure may want to consider.