Readiness for Employment: Perceptions of Mental Health Service Users
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Prior, S., Maciver, D., Forsyth, K., Walsh, M., Meiklejohn, A. & Irvine, L. (2013) Readiness for Employment: Perceptions of Mental Health Service Users, Community Mental Health Journal, vol. 49, , pp. 658-667,
Work is good for both physical and mental health, and access to work is a basic human right. People with mental health conditions want to work and with the right support can work but are often excluded from the workplace. We explored factors influencing individual's perceptions of their readiness for employment. Participants' narratives focused particularly on personal causation and it's interreactions with other aspects of volition, habituation and the environment and highlight a number of key areas, which are discussed in relation to service provision. Sheltered workshops offer support and some structure and routine but may limit an individual's readiness for employment. Services should be evidence based and focused on real work opportunities which fit with individual's interests and values. Occupational therapy theory offers a unique and valuable perspective in understanding perceptions of readiness for employment and occupational therapists offer valid and useful assessments and interventions for vocational rehabilitation.