Best Practice in Relation to Seeking and Maintaining Employment for People with Depression and Other Mental Illnesses

Abstract

Objective: The pilot study aimed to evaluate the Disability Open Employment Services (DOES), now called the Disability Employment Network (DEN), developed by the Australian Federal Government to assist clients with health disabilities to seek and maintain employment. This is the first time this type of programme has been evaluated in a service delivery setting in Australia. Method: This study employed a mixed method design for inquiry. Findings: Male participants reported less symptom interference with work duties than females. There was also an association of gender on mental health with males reporting lower levels of mental health than females. There was an association of employment goal on the degree to which symptoms interfered with work duties where those whose goal was full time work experienced significantly more interference from their symptoms than other individuals. Key findings relate to the fragmentation of current services and the variability in the educational preparation of employment counsellors. Implications and Conclusions: Implications for practice relate to the enhancement of the provision of employment services to people with a mental illness. Further research is required into the factors which clients perceive as enabling or inhibiting their participation in employment support services and further knowledge is also required about how employment support services and mental health organisations can work together as interlocked services.

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Munro, I. & Edward, K., (2009) “Best Practice in Relation to Seeking and Maintaining Employment for People with Depression and Other Mental Illnesses”, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice 6(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/mhldrp.2009.62229

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Ian Munro
Karen-Leigh Edward

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