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The meaning of work for people with severe mental illness: a systematic review

Maria Axiotidou (Department of Educational and Social Policy, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)
Doxa Papakonstantinou (Department of Educational and Social Policy, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)

Mental Health Review Journal

ISSN: 1361-9322

Article publication date: 4 March 2021

Issue publication date: 27 May 2021

232

Abstract

Purpose

Mental illness is associated with high unemployment rates, limited working opportunities, work-related discrimination, stigma and prejudices. For people with severe mental illness, the work reality is even more burdensome. This paper aims to explore in-depth and presents research results in the past decade on the meaning of work for people with severe mental illness.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a systematic literature search in Medline, Science Direct, PsycINFO databases between 2000 and 2019. The review concluded in 13 studies.

Findings

This research showed actual results regarding the meaning of work for individuals with severe mental illness from a medical, social, psychological and financial perspective. Work is of great importance for people with severe mental illness, influencing their lives on many levels.

Practical implications

The present research results can contribute to the information and further awareness of experts in mental health and vocational rehabilitation services. This review lightens the meaning of work and challenges the state's priorities in creating active and not marginalised citizens.

Originality/value

This review is original and adds to the existing knowledge that employment may benefit people with severe mental illness, especially the youngest adults, despite their labor market obstacles. It is for communities' benefit, employers, but mostly for people with severe mental illness themselves, to work.

Keywords

Citation

Axiotidou, M. and Papakonstantinou, D. (2021), "The meaning of work for people with severe mental illness: a systematic review", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 170-179. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-12-2020-0088

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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