Social inclusion through work?: the experience of supported employment for people with mental ill health

Buckle, David (2003) Social inclusion through work?: the experience of supported employment for people with mental ill health. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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A major social policy aim in the UK is to promote social inclusion through a strategy of 'welfare to work', which potentially offers both social and psychological benefits. Nonetheless, people with mental ill health remain amongst the most socially excluded in the UK and less than 20 per cent are employed although the demand for 'real' work remains high. The social needs of people with mental ill health remain largely unme!, with many socially constructed barriers to overcome in order to obtain work. Supported employment agencies assist people into work but there is a dearth of research relating to either the process or the social and psychological outcomes. The 'welfare to work' strategy is evaluated in this study by considering the experiences of people in supported employment, the social polices that influence these experiences and how these experiences affect their social inclusion. It is concluded that the more disabled a person is, the greater the barrier to employment presented by the welfare benefit system. However, there is evidence that the government's current 'welfare to work' policy is· improving this situation. Nonetheless, a major form of exclusion from work and society arises from the attitudes of others, which are difficult to address through social policy. The findings indicate that supported employment can provide beneficial social outcomes and greater psychological satisfaction, which enhances existing social networks and assists in the formation of new friendships. It is argued that 'real' work offers opportunities to meet the social and psychological needs of people with mental health problems, thereby promoting social inclusion. Therefore, supported employment services should be available to those people with mental ill health wanting a job.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2022 10:31
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:05

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