Employers' Views on Disability Policy and the Employment of People with Mental Health Problems in the South East of Ireland

Jennifer Cunningham

Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis

Abstract

There has been increased clinical and policy interest in the relationship between employment and mental health, in terms of the well-being of populations in general, and of people with psychological and psychiatric problems in particular. The Irish Mental Health Commission (2005) advocates a recovery model for delivering mental health services, in which open employment plays a central part. Therefore, the views of employers on policy and services which they see helping or hindering the employment of people with mental health problems are significant for the successful implementation of a recovery based model of service delivery. This study explores employers’ views on equal status employment policy and the support available for businesses in Ireland as these issues relate to the employment issues that confront them with regard to people with mental health problems. The research design consisted of a mixed method approach, utilising a questionnaire, focus groups and individual interviews to collect data from a range of employers (N=403) in the South East of Ireland. Statistical analysis was conducted through entry of quantitative data into SPSS Version 13. Data derived from focus groups and individual interviews were entered into computer aided qualitative data analysis software, ‘NVivo 7’, and were analysed using a seven stage coding framework approach. Findings from this study indicated that a large number of employers initially underestimate the prevalence of mental health problems within their workforce due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of mental health issues. Employers express a negative attitude towards their obligations under employment equality legislation. They feel that it acts as a barrier to the employment of people with mental health problems. Available information on current employment support initiatives is seen as poor. This has a negative impact on the willingness of employers to engage with support initiatives for people with mental health problems in the workplace.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Wells, John, Supervisor
Publication statusUnpublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Intellectual disability, employment.

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