Authors: Philip Williams and Chris Lloyd, QLD
Event: 2013 TheMHS Conference
Subject: SOCIAL JUSTICE, SOCIAL INCLUSION,SUSTAINING WELLBEING,WORKFORCE, Stigma reduction
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: One of the serious impacts of community stigma on people with mental illness is a fear of discrimination if they disclose any aspect of their mental illness to employers. This stigma in turn causes two types of problems. The first is job seekers with severe mental illness may disclose diagnostic terms which are not understood by employers that trigger unfair discrimination such as negative response to a job application. This prevents a person getting a job. The second type of problem is called avoidant nondisclosure and is the strategy used most often by people who fear unfair discrimination. This prevents people from keeping a job because necessary workplace accommodations many not be provided. In addition, the person may quit the job later through a sense of shame, if someone in the workplace finds out about their mental illness, or if unplanned disclosure occurs This paper will discuss a strategy (Personal Information Management Plan) applied within a mental health service to assist individuals with mental illness to retain a sense of control and empowerment over where, when and how their personal information is used in the workplace. This project is part of a broader project to implement an Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model vocational rehabilitation program.