Chauhan, Nisha (2018) The lived experiences of service users in mental health employment service. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The impact of employment in individuals with mental health problems is multi-faceted especially for those who manage their mental health problems in the community. Research suggests that supported employment may have a positive impact on some aspects of recovery. Nevertheless, little research has been carried out on the lived experiences of service users in mental health employment services. The current study examined this within a supported employment service, who offer opportunities for learning and development, and work experience to individuals with mental health problems. A total of 11 participants took part in semi-structured interviews, which were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis, IPA. Three superordinate themes were identified which together captured the way in which participants felt they belonged. It was found that participants felt a sense of acceptance in the service, whilst being given the opportunity to be themselves and rediscover an identity that may have been lost because of their mental health problem. However, participants also suggested that, although the service improved their self-value and gave them somewhere they felt they belonged, they feared the ‘real world’ outside of the service. Leaving the service was inevitable, and participants were unsure whether they would be met with the same level of support as they had become accustomed to. The current thesis recommends that other services in relevant areas, may wish to consider the approaches used in the current service, whilst taking some consideration of the need for transgression in such services.

Nisha Chauhan FINAL THESIS.PDF - Accepted Version
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