Book of Proceedings: Letting Others Hear Your Voice(S) – Making The Decision To Disclose

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Authors: Judith Drake, VIC

Year: 2012

Event: 2012 TheMHS Conference

Subject: AUTONOMY, EMPOWERMENT, CONSUMERS, SERVICE-USER, Personal journey dilemmas

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 978-0-9757653-8-8

Abstract: There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~ Maya Angelou
There is a growing trend in mental health services to encourage consumers with a lived experience of mental illness to share their stories of recovery. However, the implications of this for the individual are rarely discussed. Whilst the benefits to the community, such as education and hopefully reduced stigma, may be clear, the benefits, and perhaps even risks to the person sharing their story are often not immediately obvious. This paper looks at some of the reasons why people may choose to share their personal story, the benefits and potential risks involved, the different degrees of disclosure that can occur, some of the different ways in which we can share our stories, how to limit disclosure if you change your mind, and some of the issues to think about before taking this significant step.

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