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Action research
Stigma is a prominent barrier for parental disclosure of a child with a mental illness
  1. Orit Karnieli Miller
  1. Department of Medical Education, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Dr Orit Karnieli Miller, Department of Medical Education, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel; oritkm{at}

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Commentary on: Eaton K, Ohan JL, Stritzke WGK, et al. Mothers’ decisions to disclose or conceal their child’s mental health disorder. Qualitative Health Research 2017;27:1628–39.

Implications for practice and research

  • Disclosure and concealment dilemmas create significant challenges for parents of children with a mental illness.

  • Healthcare professionals should empower parents by providing them information about mental illness to share with others to decrease stigma, advice about the best structure for disclosure about their child’s illness and support them when they experience negative consequences of disclosure or concealment.

  • Further research is needed about fathers’, children’s and adolescents’ experiences with disclosure and concealment.


There is a growing body of literature about the dilemmas and practices of concealing and disclosing a mental illness.1 2 The difficulties concerning parents’ disclosure about their child’s mental health may be even greater because childhood mental …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.