Personal experiences of people with serious mental illness when seeking, obtaining and maintaining competitive employment in Queensland, Australia

Gladman, Beverley and Waghorn, Geoff (2016) Personal experiences of people with serious mental illness when seeking, obtaining and maintaining competitive employment in Queensland, Australia. Work, 53 4: 835-843. doi:10.3233/WOR-162252


Author Gladman, Beverley
Waghorn, Geoff
Title Personal experiences of people with serious mental illness when seeking, obtaining and maintaining competitive employment in Queensland, Australia
Journal name Work   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1051-9815
1875-9270
Publication date 2016-04-15
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3233/WOR-162252
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 53
Issue 4
Start page 835
End page 843
Total pages 9
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher I O S Press
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: High non-participation in the labour force and unemployment remain challenging for adults with serious mental illness.

Objectives: This study examined the personal experiences of people with serious mental illness when seeking, obtaining and maintaining competitive employment. The aim was to increase understanding of personal experiences of employment and how these experiences can be used to inform the assistance provided in support of clients' competitive employment goals.

Methods: Qualitative data from a two-year period were thematically analysed from one participating site in a multi-site trial of employment services integrated with public funded community mental health treatment and care.

Results: Both positive and negative themes arose. Positive themes included: Aspirations for a better life, receiving feedback on good job performance, employment displacing preoccupation with illness, and employment improving self-esteem and reducing financial stress. Negative themes included stigma experiences, stress, and health difficulties. Both positive and negative experiences did not depend on type of employment service assistance nor key client characteristics such as age, sex, and diagnostic category.

Conclusions: Despite its many benefits, employment can also increase the risk of negative personal experiences. These findings suggest that employment service providers could do more to assist people who commence employment, to reduce the risk of negative personal experiences and to enhance the benefits of competitive employment.
Keyword Disclosure
Employment
Personal experiences
Psychiatric disability
Stigma
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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