This first phase aims to better understand the ‘disclosure process’ by not only seeking insight into how employees manage their mental health challenge at work, but also by developing a better understanding of managers’ experience of having an employee disclose having such a challenge. This will first involve conducting one-on-one, open-ended interviews with individuals employed full-time who have been living with (or have recently lived with) a significant mental health challenge, such as depression or anxiety. One-on-one, open-ended interviews will then be held with people in management positions who have had an employee disclose having a mental health struggle.
The next phase will involve surveying (via online questionnaires) hundreds of individuals employed full-time across a variety of organizations. The aim will be to test whether specific contextual and interpersonal workplace factors (1) make it easier for people to disclose their mental health challenge to their boss, and (2) increase the likelihood that such disclosure leads to positive outcomes for those individuals.
Using insights gained from the first two phases, this last phase will involve developing a new leadership training program intended to help managers create the workplace conditions that would make it easier for their employees to talk about and seek support for their mental health concerns. An experimental research design will be used to rigorously evaluate the potential of the program.