Report: Employment interventions for people with severe mental illness
An article examined two models of employment intervention for people with severe mental illness, reporting the outcomes of trials in five mental health teams in the United Kingdom.
Comparing work outcomes for the two interventions after one year, it said that an employment service could be introduced effectively into mental health teams such that positive outcomes were achieved, but the provision of an additional, dedicated, specialist resource was more effective than asking existing staff to deliver the intervention alongside their other roles.
Background: In the UK, the severely mentally ill have high rates of unemployment.
Aims: To (1) evaluate implementation of an employment intervention and (2) test the effectiveness of training an existing staff member in providing the employment intervention (Model A) against the provision of a dedicated employment specialist to a team (Model B).
Methods: An employment service was implemented in five mental health teams, with three teams having an existing team member trained and two teams receiving an additional member of staff to carry out the employment intervention. Work outcomes for the two groups were compared at 1 year.
Results: Competitive employment was obtained by 17.7% receiving an employment intervention (10.3%, Model A versus 22.8% Model B). Rates of employment or training obtained were 25.6% (10/39) in Model A versus 35.1% (20/57) in Model B, but the difference was not statistically different. Type of employment service model was not significantly associated with working.
Conclusion: An employment service can be introduced effectively into mental health teams in the UK and positive employment outcomes achieved in a short space of time. Providing an additional resource is more effective compared to asking existing staff to deliver the intervention alongside other roles.