Books, Articles and Research
A Randomized Controlled Trial of Supported Employment Among Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
This randomized controlled study sought to determine the difference in impact between individual placement and support (IPS) supported employment and Veterans Health Administration Vocational Rehabilitation Program (VRP) treatment for veterans experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder. Over the course of the 12-month study, 76 percent of IPS participants were able to find competitive employment compared to 28 percent of VRP participants. Furthermore, IPS participants were able to work for a longer period of time and get higher wages. With gainful employment recognized as a vital component of recovery and wellness, this study highlights the need for improved job placement services in conjunction with other kinds of support.
How Your Mental Health May Be Impacting Your Career
This article discusses political and social factors that affect the employment potential and poverty risks for people with mental health problems. Barriers within both employment and health systems that do not properly accommodate or address mental health issues are examined, and potential solutions are introduced.
Mentally Ill Patients Deserve Equality
In this live chat, the host and four mental health service providers discuss discrimination and injustice faced by people with mental health issues as they seek medical treatment for general health concerns. These issues make it difficult for people with serious mental illnesses to get needed medical attention, which is reflected in the fact that these individuals live on average 25 years less than those in the general population, often as a result of preventable illnesses. Chat participants note the need for sensitivity and diversity training in the medical industry, as well as the improvement in treatment when doctors are able to become aware of each individual's personal narrative and provide medical care tailored to that narrative, rather than to the individual?s mental health diagnosis.
Mental Illness At Work: My Schizophrenia Helped Me Find A Job (Video)
In these excerpts from her interview with mental health blogger Natasha Tracy, Lisa Halpern, the Director of Recovery Services at Vinfen, a nonprofit mental health services provider, discusses the onset of her schizophrenia, her path to recovery, and how her experiences led her to her current position in which she supervises 18 peer recovery supporters and oversees peer services at Vinfen.
Low Quality Job As Bad For Health As No Job
Although studies have shown that one's mental health has a tendency to improve once employed, the research described in this article suggests that one's mental health can be impacted negatively if the job obtained is of low psychosocial quality. Unfavorable psychosocial work conditions referred to in the study include high demands, low control, low job esteem, and insecurity. Researchers' results showed that unemployed people and individuals with poor-quality jobs had a heightened chance of developing common mental disorders.
Second in a series of three policy briefs on peer supports in mental health delivery systems. Policy issue #2: Introducing and supporting peer providers in traditional mental health provider networks
This issue brief is the second of three policy briefs from Independent Living Research Utilization in collaboration with the Human Services Research Institute. The series covers peer supports in mental health delivery systems. This issue brief discusses ways the concept of peer providers could be introduced to agencies, methods of addressing staff perceptions of peer providers, risk management, and other specific issues that could impact the employment of peer providers in agencies.
Supporting workers with mental health problems to retain employment: Users' experiences of a UK job retention project
Researchers set out to gain a deeper understanding of the connections between challenges experienced in the workplace by people with mental disorders, support received during employment, and job retention. This study showed that feelings of guilt and self-blame among consumers are barriers to job retention but that, with support, individuals are able to improve communication with their employer including communication to seek accommodations, and experience increased confidence in their self-advocacy abilities. Individual interviews were used to collect data that revealed that peer support groups were a useful intervention that helped individuals with mental disorders retain employment. Researchers concluded that interventions that focus on the employee, his or her work, and the workplace offer more hope than those that focus solely on the individual for improving employment among individuals with mental disorders.
A study of the impact of social support development on job acquisition and retention among people with psychiatric disabilities
In this study, researchers explored the connection between methods for developing social support and employment-related outcomes among people with mental health problems receiving Supported Employment services. Researchers found that individuals with higher numbers of unpaid supporters were more likely to be employed for longer periods of time. Person-Centered Planning was noted as an effective technique in building support; it is a way of building natural, unpaid social supports to promote continued employment.
Social firms: A means for building employment skills and community integration
In Europe, social firms are commercial businesses that create opportunities for work and social integration for people with challenges to employment. This article describes a case study in which a Norwegian social firm worked to provide employment for workers with mental and substance use disorders. The article also discusses the value of this approach as a training option, as a means of supporting social integration, and as a method of countering negative and harmful attitudes and beliefs about people with mental health problems.
Empowerment in supported employment research and practice: Is it relevant?
Researchers in this study explored the connection between empowerment and quality of life of individuals with mental disorders entering supported employment. This study also examined empowerment's relationship to engagement in community life and individuals' experience with negative attitudes and beliefs. Results reaffirmed the value of empowerment in the supported employment setting and the importance in considering social and community integration benefits of having a job.
The road from addiction recovery to productivity: Ending discrimination against people with alcohol and drug problems
This article explores the discrimination commonly experienced by individuals with substance use disorders, including discrimination in policies that limit employment and health care. Researchers discuss the role of these discriminatory actions on one's recovery and a project, Join Together, that works to address discrimination.
Supported education for adults with psychiatric disabilities
This article reports on the results of a study undertaken to assess the effectiveness of the Bridge Program, a 12-session supported education program for adults with mental health conditions. Study results showed that participation in this program, which includes a combination of skill development sessions and one-on-one mentoring, helped participants' academic skill levels improve, along with their social skills and levels of professionalism. At a 6-month followup, 63 percent of those who had completed the program had enrolled in an educational program or job training, had obtained employment, or were applying to a specific program in the next year.
Building a cross disability peer employment support model: Report to the New York State Medicaid infrastructure grant
This report examines the prevalence of unemployment and underemployment among individuals with disabilities. Its findings identify peer support as a way of improving social capital, one's relationships and connections outside the mental health and addictions systems, and social networks for this group. This increase in social interactions was found to increase individuals' employment connections and opportunities. Researchers offer recommendations to help in developing peer employment support models to help individuals with disabilities secure employment.
America's plague of incarceration: A plague of prisons; the epidemiology of mass incarceration in America
This review of Ernest Drucker's book A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America discusses the theme of Drucker's book, which is the significant individual and societal damage that has resulted from treating drug use as a criminal problem rather than as a public health crisis. The review also covers Drucker's recommendations for remedying this situation. Drucker discusses the need for prevention strategies including drug treatment, education, and job training; and concrete community supports to allow for reintegration upon release from prison. He also notes the need for drug law reforms and addressing of targeting of minorities and impoverished communities by law enforcement.
Dismantling the poverty trap: Disability policy for the twenty-first century
This article explores the high rate of poverty and unemployment that many individuals with disabilities experience and the role that economic reforms can play in addressing these issues. Researchers share recommendations for guiding such reforms.
Building partnerships: Conversations with communities about mental health needs and community strengths
This report produced by the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities examines the needs of underserved communities, strategies to prevent mental disorders, and ways to address mental health needs specifically while also identifying strengths within the community. Researchers partnered with agencies, members, and advocates within specific communities to give them an opportunity to express their view of what is needed in their community with the goal of helping counties develop their plans and programs for the prevention of mental disorders. Participants' responses highlighted a number of key factors within these communities, including the prevalence of violence and trauma, the role of social conditions such as poverty and unemployment as being a hindrance to community well-being, and the lack of affordable services available in communities.
Inclusion of people with mental health disabilities into the workplace: Accommodation as a social process
This literature review discusses issues related to successful integration of people with mental health challenges into the workplace, especially the role that managers, supervisors and coworkers play in this process.
Does the scientific evidence support the recovery model?
The recovery model is a social movement that has continued to impact the development of mental health services worldwide. Some of its basic principles include optimism about outcome from psychosis, empowerment of individuals with behavioral health problems, and collaborative decision-making regarding treatment. This editorial highlights data that suggest positive outcomes for consumers with schizophrenia when optimism is incorporated into recovery. The editorial discusses how empowering individuals throughout recovery can enhance the process. The research shows that employment helps people recover from psychosis and demonstrates the importance of addressing the negative, internalized perceptions of behavioral health problems during recovery. This editorial goes on to address other ways in which these basic recovery model principles are supported by scientific research.
Accommodating Veteran Employees with Mental Health Issues: Addressing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury
This report provides resources and ideas on workplace accommodations for returning veteran employees with behavioral health problems. It is geared towards employers, employee assistance professionals, and others who support veteran employees. The report highlights key indicators that an employee may need support, provides statistics on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and guidance on how to develop appropriate workplace accommodations.
Journal of Primary Prevention "SPECIAL ISSUE: Homelessness & Mental Illness"
This journal issue includes 16 articles that focus on the issues of homelessness and behavioral health problems. Articles included in this issue focus on a variety of related topics including homelessness prevention, Critical Time Intervention, homelessness among veterans, reemployment, and the role of family contact and housing stability.
Recognizing work as a priority in preventing or ending homelessness
This report highlights the role of employment in the lives of homeless individuals. It asserts that, in addition to traditional approaches to assisting homeless clients with resources such as affordable housing and other supportive services, employment should also be a primary focus. Researchers suggest that programs that make work a priority have the potential to help instill higher levels of motivation and hope in homeless individuals who are striving to better their lives and that these programs offer an important tool in preventing and ending homelessness. The paper describes principles, practices, and strategies to use to make employment more central to programs for homeless people.
An update on affirmative businesses or social firms for people with mental illness
Affirmative businesses employ people with mental health problems at fair-market wages to provide needed services and products. The model emerged in Italy in the 1970s, subsequently spreading throughout Europe and independently appearing in North America and Asia. This article provides an overview of the affirmative business model, its development and diffusion, and its current state.
Supported employment: Randomised controlled trial
This study in the United Kingdom examined the individualized placement and support (IPS) approach that has shown some success in promoting the employment of people with mental health problems in the United States. Participants from South London were randomly placed in the IPS group or the traditional vocational services group. The IPS did not outperform traditional services in this study. However, the investigators note that this may indicate that IPS was not effectively implemented in South London, not that IPS will not work in the UK.
Recovering from Illness or Recovering your Life? Implications of Clinical Versus Social Models of Recovery from Mental Health Problems for Employment Support Services
This article includes seven case studies, which the authors analyze to identify the strengths and weaknesses of two mental health recovery models for employment support services (clinical and social). Based on data, the authors conclude that the social recovery model shows more promise than the clinical model. However, they note that such an approach should include consultation with mental health professionals.
"Finding and keeping work: specifying the issues, activities, roles and supports needed for those with
This paper is written for those trying to create programs for people with mental health problems who are looking for employment or seeking support to retain employment. The paper suggests that a holistic approach is preferred and offers individualized or customized strategies for supporting consumers in this situation.
An achievable vision: Report of the Department of Defense task force on mental health
This 2007 report of the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health identifies four interconnected goals that the task force deemed essential to maintaining the psychological health, enhancing the resilience, and ensuring the recovery of service members and their families, all of which are essential to maintaining a ready and fully capable military force. The report provided detailed recommendations for necessary steps to achieve these goals.
Recovery in our words: A book of possibilities and hope
Townsend and Griffin offer consumers a planned approach to taking control of mental health problems and interactions with treatment professionals.
Fair society, healthy lives: Strategic review of health inequalities in England post 2010
This paper describes British issues in health equity, social determinants of health, and UK-style societal interventions in both mental health and overall health with mental health playing a critical role.
Mental health, resilience and inequalities
This report explores the evidence that mental health influences a very wide range of outcomes for individuals and communities. These include healthier lifestyles, better physical health, improved recovery from illness, fewer limitations in daily living, and other factors.
Work transitions for peer support providers in traditional mental health programs: unique challenges and opportunities.
Peer support is gaining recognition as a valuable component of mental health service delivery and as a meaningful employment opportunity for mental health consumers. Despite the potential benefits of peer support, there continue to be many barriers to the development and funding of peer positions. This article reports on the results of a multisite project whose goal was to build capacity for employment of trained peer providers in local, community-based mental health programs.
Using Situation Testing to Document Employment Discrimination Against Persons with Psychiatric Disabilities
The authors of this article note that research has suggested that discrimination toward, and inaccurate perceptions of, people with mental health problems may cause people with these problems to be unemployed or underemployed. However, when this article was published, research had not yet looked closely at exclusionary and discriminatory employer behavior. In this article, the authors examine employment among people with mental health problems; review ways to determine how discrimination affects people with mental health problems on the job; and propose a new methodology, situation testing, which they write allows for a better understanding of workplace discrimination toward people with mental health challenges.
Towards social inclusion in mental health?
This article explores the uses of the terms "social exclusion" and "social inclusion" in a mental health context. Focusing on social inclusion as a remedy for the ills of social exclusion, this article discusses implications for contemporary mental health policy, practice, and research and concludes that a better theoretical understanding of causal mechanisms is needed to enable the development of more socially inclusive mental health services.
Vision and Progress: Social Inclusion and Mental Health
This report examines the progress of the National Social Inclusion Programme as it works to implement the activities outlined by the 2004 Mental Health and Social Exclusion Report. Details are given on the progress made so far and on the work still to be done.
Mental Health and Social Exclusion: Social Exclusion Unit Report
This report examines the impact mental health problems have on increasing social exclusion. The report also developed a 27-point action plan to address this problem.
The meaning and importance of employment to people in recovery from serious mental illness: Results of a qualitative study
Given the high rates of unemployment and underemployment among individuals with psychiatric disabilities, only a small number of studies have investigated the role work has in the lives of people who have been successful vocationally during their recovery from serious mental illness. This study sought to add to existing literature by determining how individuals perceive work and its effect on their recovery.
SESAMI study of employment support for people with severe mental health problems: 12-month outcomes
In the context of UK policy to promote employment for people with disability as a means to greater social inclusion, this study investigated how people with severe mental health problems fare in existing supported employment agencies. The aim of the study was to identify factors associated with successful placement in work and to test the impact of working on psychological well-being in this group.
Implicit prejudice toward injecting drug users predicts intentions to change jobs among drug and alcohol nurses
In the current research, drug and alcohol nurses reported their level of stress working with people who inject drugs , their job satisfaction, their explicit prejudice toward people who inject drugs , and their intentions to leave drug and alcohol nursing.
What to do when you think an employee may need mental health help
This fact sheet list the steps you should take when you think an employee may need mental health help. Steps on education, language and encouraging dialogue are dicussed.
Mental health training for law enforcement professionals
The purpose of this pilot study was to determine topics of interest and preferred modalities of training for police officers in their work with persons with mental illness. Police officers across Massachusetts attending in-service mental health training were asked to rate the importance of potential mental health topics and the effectiveness of potential training modalities on a Likert-type scale.
Small business employers' views on hiring individuals with mental illness
This study investigated the beliefs of small business employers regarding hiring individuals with mental illness. Fifty-eight participants completed mail-in questionnaires concerning beliefs and willingness to hire persons with mental illness.
A cross-cultural study of employers' concerns about hiring people with psychotic disorder: implications for recovery
In this study, we tested this lay approach by comparing employers' concerns about hiring people with psychotic disorder for entry-level jobs in US and China.
Employment equity and mental disability
Recent research on the civil rights issue of employment equity for people with psychiatric disabilities is reviewed.
Mental illness careers in an era of change
In this article, the authors use data from 238 persons treated in Vermont State Hospital during the 1950s to evaluate several fundamental career assumptions and to illustrate how different predictors are contextualized by the career.
Getting Beyond "Don't Ask; Don't Tell": An Evaluation of US Veterans Administration Post deployment Mental Health Screening of Veterans Returning From Iraq and Afghanistan
In this study the authors sought to evaluate outcomes of the Veterans Administration (VA) Afghan and Iraq Post-Deployment Screen for mental health symptoms. Among 750 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who were referred to a VA medical center and 5 associated community clinics, 338 underwent post deployment screening; 233 (69%) screened positive for mental health problems.
Psychosis and the experience of employment
This study explored the experiences of people diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder in relation to paid employment. Eight participants with experience of paid employment were interviewed. The data were analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) [Smith et al. (In: Murray, Chamberlain, editors) Qualitative health psychology, 1999].
Twelve month use of mental health services in a nationally representative, active military sample
This article findings indicate that military institutions should continue public education campaigns to raise awareness and acceptance of mental health issues and should make necessary changes in health delivery systems to gain the trust of military members. The primary objective of this study was to examine the patterns and predictors of mental health service use in active Canadian Force members while also identifying barriers to service use.
Attitudes towards people with mental illness: A cross-sectional study among nursing staff in psychiatric and somatic care
The aim of the present study was to investigate attitudes towards mental illness and people with mental illness among nursing staff working in psychiatric or somatic care. The sample consisted of 120 registered or assistant nurses who were interviewed about intimacy with mental illness and attitudes about seven different mental illnesses.
Training veterans in recovery
Two female veterans share how peer employment training is making a difference in their recovery from Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder (PTSD).
Solutions to discrimination in work and housing identified by people with mental illness
This study examines perceived solutions to discrimination in housing and employment situations.
Mental Illness and Employment Discrimination
This article presents a review of recent research that seeks to determine employment-related barriers experienced by people with mental health problems. In this study, the researcher takes a broad view of the discrimination process to include cognitive, attitudinal, behavioral, and structural disadvantages. Based on her review, she concludes that people with mental health problems continue to face many barriers in attitudes and social and economic structures that keep them from active participation in the workforce. This highlights the need for modern mental health rehabilitation models and legislative philosophies which focus on citizenship rights and full social participation.
The sympathetic discriminator: Mental illness, hedonic costs, and the ADA
Discrimination against people with mental illness occurs in part because of how those with mental illness can make other people feel.Thus, a central basis for discrimination in this context is what I call hedonic costs. Hedonic costs are affective or emotional costs: an influx of negative emotion or loss of positive emotion. In addition, the phenomenon of emotional contagion, which is one source of hedonic costs, makes discrimination against people with mental illness peculiarly intractable.
Combat Duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mental Health Problems, and Barriers to Care
In the research described in this article, investigators surveyed U.S. Army and Marine Corps members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, some before deployment to Iraq and others after their return from Iraq or Afghanistan. Through the surveys, they assessed major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and help-seeking attitudes and behavior. They found that respondents deployed to Iraq were exposed to more combat than those deployed to Afghanistan. After serving in Iraq, the number of respondents who met the criteria for major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, or PTSD was significantly higher than numbers among respondents surveyed before serving in Iraq and also among respondents surveyed after serving in Afghanistan. Among people with one of these mental health problems, 23 to 40 percent tried to get mental health care. People with a mental health problem were two times as likely to express worry about barriers to receiving mental health care, including discrimination they could experience. In their conclusions section, the authors noted that perception of risk of prejudice and discrimination kept those most in need of mental health services from receiving these services.
American with Disabilities Act of 1990
The current text of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 [?ADA?], as amended.
Mental health in the workplace: An issue for one in five employees
This report was developed by a committee of engaged citizens in Minnesota who were asked to examine how the mental health issues
of employees impact the workplace and to identify successful strategies or models for addressing the mental health challenges of those working and for accommodating
those with serious mental health problems who
want to work.