An exploration of the role of employment in mental health recovery

FLINTOFT, Christopher Barry (2008). An exploration of the role of employment in mental health recovery. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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For people with mental health problems gaining employment is a significant factor in social inclusion and often seen as an indication of mental well-being. Mental health services are dominated by a medical model of illness which focuses on the control of symptoms. In recent decades, service users have written about their experiences of "recovery" from mental illness. Recovery is about the subjective experience of wellness and can exist even if symptoms remain. This research was designed following an observation that employment seemed to be a significant factor in people's recovery.

Research was conducted to explore the relationship between employment and recovery. A grounded theory approach was used to gather and analyse data from nine participants who live in the north of England and have experience of unemployment and mental health problems, but who are now in a process of recovery and are employed. Semi-structured interviews and a workshop were conducted. Data were transcribed and analysed using Nvivo software. Many of the well documented recovery themes were evident in the data. In addition participants talked about factors which make employment either 'toxic' or beneficial to mental health recovery. The research indicated that unemployment and the wrong work at the wrong time are damaging to mental health and result in reduced prospects of gaining employment; the right work at the right time perpetuates a process of wellness and valued employment.

Factors significant in understanding why the right work at the right time is beneficial to recovery are induced from the data. These factors are set out in a matrix and used to consider some implications for practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Doel, Mark
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2011 16:49
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:14

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