The choice to disclose (or not) mental health ill-health in UK Higher Education Institutions: a duoethnography by two female academics

Fox, Joanna and Gasper, Roz (2020) The choice to disclose (or not) mental health ill-health in UK Higher Education Institutions: a duoethnography by two female academics. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 9 (3). pp. 295-309. ISSN 2046-6749

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/JOE-11-2019-0040

Abstract

Purpose: We review how the mental ill-health of academic staff is regarded in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and explore the decision to disclose (or not) a mental health condition whilst working in this sector. Design: The choice to disclose is explored by using duoethnography undertaken by two female academics working in this context who both experience mental ill-health. Both authors recorded their experiences, which were then shared with each other and analysed using thematic analysis. Findings: The themes that emerged from our reflections comprise: a discussion of the connection between work-life identities and the impact of mental ill-health in the workplace; a consideration of the elements which influence our decision to disclose (or not) mental health diagnoses within HEI; and an examination of the potential additional burden of identity work for those who experience mental ill-health. Originality: The article contributes to this evidence base by exploring the choice to disclose a mental health diagnosis in HEIs. It investigates this highly personal decision and suggests that this choice depends on the context in which we are located and how we experience our different identities in the workplace. Furthermore, it highlights the importance for HEIs to develop positive employment practices to support academic staff with mental ill-health to disclose a mental health condition and to achieve a good workplace environment; whilst emphasising the need for more empirical work to explore the decision to disclose (or not) in this sector.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Autoethnography, mental health, higher education, neoliberal academy, reflective practice
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2020 09:01
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:53
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/705425

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