Unemployment rates are high for individuals with psychiatric problems. Not working also has a negative impact on mental health. New services have evolved to assist people with mental health problems with employment particularly in the United States. The United Kingdom is moving in this direction. A key player is Northern Ireland which provides Assessment, Counseling and Coaching in Employment Placement and Training (ACCEPT) services for people with mental health issues.
This study evaluated the ACCEPT services for individuals with mental health problems during their first 12 to 18 months of operation.
The setting included four ACCEPT centers.
Sixty three people participated in the study. Demographic data was presented on 74 who started the study but later 11 dropped out. Those data indicate about half or 53% were female. Mean age for men was 38 and women 36 years. Forty three percent of the men were single, and 41% of the women. A little over half of the men or 51% had a primary diagnosis of neurotic depression. The majority or 44% of the women had the same diagnosis.
An ACCEPT intake form provided a profile of the trainees. The Lancashire Quality of Life Profile was used to obtain information on perceived quality of life. A Goal Attainment Form documented the trainees top five goals or objectives. Participant views about ACCEPT quality of services was gained using an Client Evaluation Form. A Stakeholder Questionnaire was also used. T-Tests were used to examine pre and post training differences in the mean LSS scores.
The intervention was Assessment, Counseling and Coaching in Employment Placement and Training (ACCEPT) services. It includes a combination of psychosocial rehabilitation and job training.
There was no control or comparison conditions. The study used a pretest/posttest design.
Pre and post training assessment revealed improvements in the participants satisfaction with employment status, religion and purpose of life, social relationships and overall well being. Minor psychiatric problems also decreased after training. Participants reported positive views about ACCEPT services. At the close of the study around 50% of the participants were employed or either engaged in volunteer work or a work experience.
Mental health professionals play and important role in work oriented programs. Interagency collaboration is critical. These types of programs can contribute to therapeutic outcomes for individuals with mental health problems.