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Looking after your pearls: the dilemmas of mental health self‐disclosure in higher education teaching

Matthew Gough (Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 9 December 2011

394

Abstract

Purpose

There are several tensions in the disclosure of personal experience of mental health problems. The issue of “otherness” is particularly pertinent when exploring mental health. This paper seeks to draw upon workshop discussion around the theme of educators disclosing personal experience of mental health problems.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based around a critically reflective self‐selecting conference workshop for mental health educators, practitioners and others.

Findings

There are risks and benefits to personal disclosure of lived experience of mental health problems. It was found that three areas emerged when considering the dilemmas of self‐disclosure: personal impact, wider ethical issues and student learning.

Practical implications

The paper provides information on how educators can maximise the benefits and minimise the hazards associated within these areas as a means to develop good practice guidance and when and how to disclose personal experience.

Originality/value

The paper finds its value in the inclusion of recognised lived experience of mental health problems amongst educators and the tensions apparent with disclosure about such experiences.

Keywords

Citation

Gough, M. (2011), "Looking after your pearls: the dilemmas of mental health self‐disclosure in higher education teaching", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 203-210. https://doi.org/10.1108/17556221111194545

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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