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Greater support is needed to tackle the serious emotional consequences of whistleblowing
Date:10/11/2011

w the whistle as troublemakers. This can generate a hostile work environment and even lead to victimisation, ostracism, exclusionary behaviour, hostility and bullying."

Key findings and quotes from the study included:

Participants described overwhelming distress, avoided social occasions and reported loss of confidence and insomnia.

  • "I just went into a black space and had to stay in bed with the blankets over my head for a week" (Evelyn, whistleblower).
  • "I started drinking, I would go to bed at six o'clock at nightwaking up at two o'clock in the morning and staying awake." (Rosie, whistleblower)
  • "I just have this constant dull depressed sort of feeling - it's like a deadness" (Rita, subject of whistleblowing)
  • "I was having panic attacks and hyperventilating and pacing like an absolute lunatic" (Anna, subject)
  • "I was hyper vigilantI tried to look at every possible way how I might be set up for something" (Moira, whistleblower)
  • "I practiced defensive management I wrote everything down, I kept a log of every conversation and it was exhausting." (Diana, subject).

    The whistleblowing event was all consuming for the nurses who took part in the study.

  • "I was wondering what effect it would have on me I was constantly figuring out ways of dealing with the problem." (Valerie, whistleblower).
  • "I had nightmares all the time, when it was at its worst I would just see this man continually, as soon as I closed my eyes" (Mary, whistleblower)

"What makes this study stand out from our previous research is that it underlines the severity and duration of the emotional distress these women experienced" says co-author Professor Debra Jackson from the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at the University of Technology, Sydney.

"We believe that health managers have a significant responsibility to provide ongoing care and support for both whistleblowing employees and thos
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Contact: Annette Whibley
annette.wizard@gmail.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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