Disclosure – How We React Matters

Mind has produced a guide Disclosure Tools for Managers to help better understand the issues.

Sam Marshall Davies
Fri 29 Apr
Disclosure – How We React Matters

CIPD recognised stress as the biggest cause of long-term sickness absence and reluctance to disclose suffering, was seen as the biggest barrier.

What do we mean by disclosure? In its simplest term, it means someone sharing something new, particularly a secret, or sensitive information with you.  Disclosing can be potentially difficult for the person and possibly for you too. 

Disclosures largely fall into three main categories: Extreme disclosures – a safeguarding issue such as domestic violence, sexual, emotional or physical abuse, harassment. Legal requirements – such as an incident notifiable to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) such as criminal convictions. Common Place – can be just as difficult to share, such learning needs, disability, mental wellbeing, financial concerns, addictions. 

Many factors make disclosing hard. Embarrassment is probably the most obvious barrier but other fears also make it hard to open up; being treated differently, harm to promotion chances, discrimination, first in line for redundancy, disciplinary or dismissal. There’s no promise disclosing can stop disciplinary action but the sooner an issue is discussed, often it’s easier to resolve.  A culture of silence can mean undetected problems spiral out of control. Your reaction is extremely important. This person has decided they can trust you enough to open up. It may be the first time they’ve told anyone. 

What should I avoid? Try to avoid judging, look of shock, disgust, maybe crying. 

What should I do? Be human, put the notebook down and just listen. It’s ok to say you need a moment to compose. Some organisations have set up a team of specially trained staff as Wellbeing Champions, encouraging an environment where is ok to share. Even if this has never happened to you before, be prepared and think about what you might say or do if you ever have a disclosure – it will help you if the time ever comes. 

Where can you find more information and ideas for creating a sharing culture? 

What’s next

If you would like to learn more about safeguarding and KnowledgeBrief’s policies and procedures for reporting and prevention, please phone us on 020 7704 7636 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 

If you are interested in contributing to the newsletter with a brief piece on how your workplace talks these issues, case studies or your own experience in relation to safeguarding, please let us know. We would love to hear your story.

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