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A Qualitative Study of Work and Stigma in People With Severe Mental Illness (Volume I).

Rodd, Caroline. (2003) A Qualitative Study of Work and Stigma in People With Severe Mental Illness (Volume I). Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This study aimed to explore how the areas of work and stigma are viewed and experienced by individuals with severe mental illness, and the impact of different work experiences on self-identity and perceived stigma. Previous research has shown that work can promote a more positive self-identity and reduce stigma, and has led to the assumption that the stigma of mental illness is reduced through participation in work programmes. This assumption lacks empirical support, hence individuals’ experiences of one such work programme, the Transitional Employment Programme (TEP), was investigated alongside experiences of independent employment. The TEP places people with mental illness in non-segregated mainstream paid jobs, through membership of a Clubhouse. Semi-structured interviews, were conducted with ten members of a Clubhouse who had experience of the TEP. Participants reported work as important at different times in their life, and described a range of practical, personal and social benefits of their experiences of work. Social contact emerged as a particularly valued and expected benefit. Good experiences of work contributed positively to participants’ self-identity, and the negative self-identity associated with mental illness. However, mental illness had a consistently negative impact on employment, and working with a mental illness was often experienced as stigmatising. In terms of independent employment, perceived stigma was associated with difficulty fitting in due to the stigmatising attitudes of others in the workplace, whereas in transitional employment stigma was due to the stigmatising nature and conditions of the jobs, lack of opportunity for social contact, and the association with Clubhouse. This influenced how participants managed disclosure of their mental illness. The findings are supported by existing literature and provide further insight into the areas of transitional employment and stigma. Implications for vocational programmes are discussed. These stress the balance between support and independence in promoting social inclusion through work.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Rodd, Caroline.
Date : 2003
Additional Information : Thesis (Psych.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2003.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 14:03
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 14:06
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856420

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