"Work is good for me": Views of mental health service users seeking work during the UK recession, a qualitative analysis
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AbstractBACKGROUND: Individual placement and support (IPS) is an effective form of supported employment for people with severe mental illness. Little is known about service users' experiences of these programmes during economic recession.
AIMS: Obtain service users' views of an IPS programme implemented in the UK during recession.
METHOD: Thirty-one service users enrolled in an IPS programme were interviewed using a semi-structured protocol. The questions covered several areas of their experience, including problems faced in seeking work, perceived barriers in returning to work and what they found helpful in employment support.
RESULTS: Unsurprisingly, a large number of service users had problems in finding work due to the number of appropriate jobs available. Nevertheless, many service users felt positively about the support they had received (90% were satisfied with IPS), and would advise others in their position to seek employment. Personal and practical support from employment specialists (ES) was the most useful aspect of the service.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite economic recession, an IPS service was implemented and regarded as satisfactory to service users seeking work. Although many found obtaining employment difficult, they would still advise others that work is worthwhile, suggesting that the context of recession has not discouraged them.