Helping people with a mental illness obtain work: The Health Optimisation Program for Employment

David Castle, Caroline Crosse, Dea Morgain, Caitlin McDowell, Susan Rossell, Neil Thomas, Andrea Phillipou, Monica Gilbert, Gaye Moore, Ellie Fossey, Carol Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Inclusion in work and education remains problematic for many people with a mental illness. We describe a structured programme - the Health Optimisation Program for Employment - that supported people with a mental illness to gain employment or commence studies. 

Method: Twenty hours of the Health Optimisation Program for Employment were delivered to 600 individuals. Participants were asked to complete an evaluation survey encompassing vocational status and ratings of self-efficacy. 

Results: Of the 364 participants who completed the baseline assessment, 168 responded to the evaluation survey 6 months after the delivery of the Health Optimisation Program for Employment. Of these, 21.5% had started a new job, while a further 42.8% were either volunteering or studying. Satisfaction with the programme was high and self-efficacy ratings improved significantly over the short term only. 

Conclusions: The Health Optimisation Program for Employment requires further evaluation using rigorous scientific methodology but these initial results are encouraging in terms of vocational attainment for people with a mental illness, in the Australian context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-341
Number of pages5
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Keywords

  • Employment
  • Mental illness
  • Peer educator
  • Psychoeducation
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-management
  • Vocational rehabilitation

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