Disclosure of Mental Illness at Work

Raised of $733 Goal
Funded on 2/28/18
Successfully Funded
  • $794
  • 108%
  • Funded
    on 2/28/18

About This Project

Deciding whether to disclose a mental illness (MI) at work may have a impact on one's quality of life. Those with a mental illness are simultaneously encouraged and discouraged from disclosing due to competing factors such as discrimination and accommodation-seeking. We hope to better understand how people with MI think about disclosing in order to ensure that disclosure-decisions are more fully informed and supported in the workplace.

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What is the context of this research?

Disclosing a mental illness is unlike disclosing other stigmatized identities. For instance, one might be encouraged to disclose because they may be seeking some accommodations from their workplace. At the same time, fears about discrimination simultaneously discourage disclosure. Previous research has examined disclosure generally, but has failed to investigate how people think about these competing factors as they are trying to come to a decision. The outcome of a disclosure event might heavily impact how one thinks about it after-the-fact. This oversight leaves us under-informed about the precise impact of relevant factors on disclosure-decisions.

What is the significance of this project?

Every person who can and wants to work deserves an opportunity to do so. Failure to support individuals with mental illness in the workplace may lead to poorer performance (thus impacting their financial resources, quality of life and self-esteem) or may discourage job-seeking in the first place. The World Health Organization (2018) has estimated that depression and anxiety alone likely account for US$1 Trillion is losses to the global economy annually. If we can better understand how people with mental illness think about disclosure-decisions, we can better educate employers on best-practices to support individuals with mental illness.

What are the goals of the project?

This project intends to survey individuals who have a mental illness and have not disclosed it to their employers. We will use this information to model how each factor (such as distress or social support) impacts motivation overall. Once we identify all relevant factors (and their impacts) we will be better positions to describe to employers how they might best support their employees. For instance, we might discover that social support is vitally important to decreasing distress and, therefore, makes disclosure unnecessary. That might suggest that employers could support their employees better by increasing opportunities for socialization through shared breaks or consistent schedules.


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Paying participants encourages participation and ensures that researchers are properly respecting their time and efforts. A participant's time is valuable and we want to ensure that they are duly compensated.

Endorsed by

People with mental illness want to go back to work. Fominaya's research is essential to help understand how people might disclosure their experiences with mental illness in order to achieve work goals.

Project Timeline

We anticipate all data collection to be completed within 30 days of the launch-date. We'll be conducting online survey research meaning that we can gain quick access to a large sample of individuals from throughout the United States.

Jan 29, 2018

Project Launched

Mar 16, 2018

Launch the online survey

Apr 16, 2018

Close the online survey (complete data collection)

May 31, 2018

Fully analyze the data

Jun 01, 2018

Begin manuscript preparations

Meet the Team

Adam Fominaya
Adam Fominaya

Adam Fominaya

I am a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Much of my research has focused on people with stigmatized identities with an aim toward encouraging self-determination, increasing autonomy, and increasing access to services and support.

Project Backers

  • 25Backers
  • 108%Funded
  • $794Total Donations
  • $31.76Average Donation
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