UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry, Center for Mental Health Services Research; Center for Health Policy and Research

Publication Date


Document Type



Mentally Disabled Persons; Mental Health Services; Employment, Supported; Work; Disclosure


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Objective: This study identifies patterns and correlates of disclosure among professionals and managers with serious psychiatric conditions.

Design: A national mail survey of such respondents was conducted.

Results: A large proportion (87%) of study participants reported having disclosed their mental illness. About half of the disclosers reported unfavorable circumstances leading to disclosure while one third disclosed when they felt comfortable. Most frequently, respondents disclosed to supervisors; one third made their disability known when applying for the job. About half of the respondents had no regrets about disclosing. Multivariate analysis showed that correlates with the occurrence, timing, and choice of disclosure converge around constructs related to job confidence, empowerment, and recovery. We also describe those who chose not to disclose.

Conclusion: Higher rates than previously reported and better experiences with disclosure were evident and may be related to this population's greater recovery as well as to occupational factors.


Ellison, M. L., Russinova, Z., MacDonald-Wilson, K. L., & Lyass, A. (2003). Patterns and correlates of workplace disclosure among professionals and managers with psychiatric conditions. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 18(1), 3-13. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation


At the time of publication, Marsha Langer Ellison was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.