Research Evidence


Development & Research


The Coming Out Proud program is grounded in research showing that people who disclose aspects of their mental health condition frequently report a sense of personal empowerment, enhanced self-esteem, and confidence while paving the way for life goal pursuits.  Our research group has published conceptual and background papers as well as results of a qualtative study and a randomized controlled trial (RCT). 

Conceptual Paper 

Click Here to download the conceptual paper describing the theoretical basis for developing the Coming Out Proud program.  Public disclosure of one’s mental illness may promote empowerment and reduce the harm of self-stigma.   The pros and cons to revealing one’s mental illness are described. This includes understanding one’s identity and whether mental illness is a part of it.  A brief explanation of the Coming Out Proud Program is provided.

Program Description 

Click Here to download a paper focusing on the the costs and benefits of different types of mental health disclosure. The Coming Out Proud Program promotes self-identification with mental illness and consideration of the costs and benefits to disclosure.  To aid in decision-making, five disclosure strategies are examined as well as how the Coming Out Proud Program can guide such decisions.

Youth Disclosure 

Click Here to download results of a qualitative research conducted with adolescents, parents, and teachers regarding the costs and benefits of mental health disclosure among transitional age youth is reviewed.  Results provide insight into the applicability of disclosure strategies and how to minimize risks including where and to whom youth might share their stories.  Overall youth seem interested in breaking the silence about lived experiences with mental illness.


Click Here to download results from a randomized study conducted of the Coming Out Proud Program focused on mental illness disclosure and secrecy, self-stigma, empowerment, and stress-related to stigma. Evidence demonstrates the Coming Out Proud has positive effects.  If corroborated by future research, the program may be useful in therapeutic and mutual support settings by trained facilitators.