Background. Dealing with work related stress is a declared priority of European Union mental health policy. A particularly under-researched sector in this regard is the community vocational support sector for people with mental health and intellectual disability problems. Aims. To report on the organisational profile of the vocational support and rehabilitation sector forpeople with mental health and intellectual disabilities as this relates to occupational stress, in five European countries (Austria, Ireland, Italy, Romania and UK). Methods. A sector profile questionnaire was distributed to representative organisations in five countries and a short face-to-face survey was conducted with 25 local managers (five from each country) to draw up a profile and facilitate a comparative description and analysis. Results. It was found that there is no national and European data collected at any level in this sector upon which to base effective policy interventions to combat occupational stress specific to professionals working in this sector. Results indicate that the sector in a number of the countries sampled does not have effective mechanisms in place to deal with occupational stress. Conclusion. Developing effective transnational occupational stress management policy that supports staff working in this sector and measuring its success is greatly impaired by a failure to effectively define the purpose of the sector and collect and collate national data to support it.
- occupational stress