Employer and employment agency attitudes towards employing individuals with mental health needs

Biggs, David M, Hovey, Nicola, Tyson, Philip J and MacDonald, Sophie (2010) Employer and employment agency attitudes towards employing individuals with mental health needs. Journal of Mental Health, 19 (6). pp. 505-516. doi:10.3109/09638237.2010.507683

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Background: The positive benefits of paid employment for individuals with mental health needs are well known yet many still remain unemployed (Perkins & Rinaldi, (2002). Unemployment rates among patients with long-term mental health problems: A decade of rising unemployment. Psychiatric Bulletin, 26(8), 295–298.). Aims: Attitudes of employers and employment agencies that may provide short-term contracts to individuals with mental health needs are important to understand if these individuals are to be given access to paid employment. Methods: A mixed methods approach was used to investigate this phenomenon comprising of interviews and a follow-up survey. Interviews were conducted with 10 employment agencies and 10 employers. The results of these interviews then informed a follow-up survey of 200 businesses in Gloucestershire. Results: The findings demonstrated that employment agencies would consider putting forward individuals with previous mental health needs to employers. However, employers had a high level of concern around employing these individuals. Employers reported issues of trust, needing supervision, inability to use initiative and inability to deal with the public for individuals with either existing or previous mental health needs. Conclusions: The findings of this research suggest a need for employers to have more accurate information regarding hiring individuals with mental health needs.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mental health discrimination, employer attitudes, employment agency attitudes, mental health awareness, perceptions of mental health, TW04
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2015 12:54
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:05
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/1246

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