A SELECTION OF ARTICLES FROM VARIOUS SOURCES
Anand, P. and T. C. Honeycutt (2019). “Long-Term Outcomes for Transition-Age Youth With Mental Health Conditions Who Receive Postsecondary Education Support.” Journal of Disability Policy Studies 0(0): 1044207319848069.
This article examines the relationship between receiving support for postsecondary education (college or vocational training) from state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and long-term outcomes for youth with mental health conditions (MHCs). We use longitudinal data to follow three cohorts of youth VR applicants for 9 years after they applied for VR services. The results show a strong relationship between receipt of postsecondary education support and long-term employment, earnings, and federal disability benefit receipt. For some outcomes, such as being employed in the 9 years after VR application, the number of years employed, and benefit receipt in the 9 years after VR application for those who did not receive benefits at the time of application, the association is larger for youth with MHCs than for those with other disabilities. These findings provide valuable descriptive estimates of the benefits of providing postsecondary education support for VR youth with MHCs and how these benefits compare with youth with other types of disabilities.
Bond, G. R., et al. (2019). “Work-Focused Interventions for Depression.” Work 4: 02.
Among employed adults, major depression is a leading cause of work absences (absenteeism) and impaired work performance (presenteeism) as well as short-term and long-term work disability. Depression is one of the largest and fastest growing categories of work disability claims filings in the public and private disability insurance sectors. Despite advances in depression detection, diagnosis, and treatment, most adults with depression receive no care or suboptimal treatment. Research also shows that depression treatment by itself, even when it reduces symptoms, does not adequately restore work functioning. Because untreated depression results in enormous costs to companies, many employers have invested in work-based depression interventions. Little is known, however, about the prevalence, quality, and effectiveness of these interventions. This project incorporated an environmental scan and key informant interviews to summarize current knowledge regarding the adoption and benefits of work-based depression programs, identify key elements of successful programs, summarize gaps in our understanding of these programs, and identify opportunities to expand these program.
Buheji, M. (2019). “Youth Unemployment Mitigation Labs-An Empathetic Approach for Complex Socio-Economic Problem.” American Journal of Economics 9(3): 93-105.
Today many graduating youths would believe that the world is much harsher than what they thought, because they are constrained from smoothly entering the labour market. Therefore, youth unemployment is not only a United Nation Sustainable Development Goal (UN-SDG), but remains to be an important complex global challenge. In this paper, we shall review all the past and contemporary approaches to solving the youth unemployment problem, in relevance to latest facts and then shall see the approach of a four years’ socio-economic problem-solving approach, called the inspiration labs, and how it is tackling this issue from different perspectives. The paper concludes with calibration of the direction this UN-SDG challenge is handled all over the world.
Cullen, K. L., et al. (2018). “Effectiveness of Workplace Interventions in Return-to-Work for Musculoskeletal, Pain-Related and Mental Health Conditions: An Update of the Evidence and Messages for Practitioners.” Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation 28(1): 1-15.
Purpose The objective of this systematic review was to synthesize evidence on the effectiveness of workplace-based return-to-work (RTW) interventions and work disability management (DM) interventions that assist workers with musculoskeletal (MSK) and pain-related conditions and mental health (MH) conditions with RTW. Methods We followed a systematic review process developed by the Institute for Work & Health and an adapted best evidence synthesis that ranked evidence as strong, moderate, limited, or insufficient. Results Seven electronic databases were searched from January 1990 until April 2015, yielding 8898 non-duplicate references. Evidence from 36 medium and high quality studies were synthesized on 12 different intervention categories across three broad domains: health-focused, service coordination, and work modification interventions. There was strong evidence that duration away from work from both MSK or pain-related conditions and MH conditions were significantly reduced by multi-domain interventions encompassing at least two of the three domains. There was moderate evidence that these multi-domain interventions had a positive impact on cost outcomes. There was strong evidence that cognitive behavioural therapy interventions that do not also include workplace modifications or service coordination components are not effective in helping workers with MH conditions in RTW. Evidence for the effectiveness of other single-domain interventions was mixed, with some studies reporting positive effects and others reporting no effects on lost time and work functioning. Conclusions While there is substantial research literature focused on RTW, there are only a small number of quality workplace-based RTW intervention studies that involve workers with MSK or pain-related conditions and MH conditions. We recommend implementing multi-domain interventions (i.e. with healthcare provision, service coordination, and work accommodation components) to help reduce lost time for MSK or pain-related conditions and MH conditions. Practitioners should also consider implementing these programs to help improve work functioning and reduce costs associated with work disability.
Nicholas, D. B., et al. (2018). “Evaluation of employment-support services for adults with autism spectrum disorder.” Autism 22(6): 693-702.
The employment rate among persons with autism spectrum disorder has been noted as unacceptably low. Employment-support services are increasingly linked to the potential for favorable job outcomes, yet little is known about employment-support practices and the outcome of these interventions. This mixed-methods study examined employment-support resources for persons with autism spectrum disorder. An online survey was completed by 137 senior clinicians or administrators in employment-support programs in Canada. Additionally, 122 follow-up interviews were conducted with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (n?=?71) and their parents/caregivers (n?=?51). Findings indicate that the quality and beneficial impact of employment-support services for adults with autism spectrum disorder may be more favorably perceived by employment-support personnel than by individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families. Furthermore, employment-support personnel were more disparaging about autism spectrum disorder vocational support capacity within their community, compared to their own programs. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families seek services that support both accessing and retaining employment. Capacity-building in employment support for youth and adults with autism spectrum disorder is recommended, based on a reported insufficiency of, and a lack of evidence guiding, existing services. Program recommendations and an emerging model for integrated vocational support in autism spectrum disorder are offered.
Felgenhauer, A., et al. (2019). “Online peer groups – a design-oriented approach to addressing the unemployment of people with complex barriers.”
Following a design-oriented methodology, we aim to support unemployed people facing complex barriers like drug addiction or poverty by designing and evaluating an online intervention that complements traditional face-to-face offline counselling with online peer groups. Our peer-group-based job counselling approach provides peer support in an intimate environment, independent of time and place. We implemented our approach at the German Federal Employment Agency with a messaging application and evaluated it in a randomised field experiment and expert interviews. Results indicate that the approach adds substantial value compared to face-to-face offline counselling, particularly with respect to job search self-efficacy, self-exploration, and environmental exploration – proven success indicators for the employment of unemployed people with complex barriers. It further demonstrates the benefits of online characteristics and how online peer groups and offline interventions can cross-fertilize in this context. Our study contributes to the literature on the societal impact of information and communication technologies and to design science research, and answers stakeholders’ call for modernisation of employment counselling in practice.
[Association for Information Systems AIS Electronic Library (AISeL). INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR A SHARING SOCIETY. ECIS 2019 Proceedings]
Lapinski, A. P. (2019). Barriers and Facilitators to Accessing and Utilizing Mental Health Services for Homeless Youth: A Systematic Review.
Homelessness in the youth population is associated with elevated rates of mental illness, substance abuse, and suicidality compared to the housed population in the United States (Berdahl, Hoyt, and Whitbeck, 2005; Hodgson, Shelton, Van den Bree, 2014; Hughes et al., 2010). With a survival-focused perspective, exacerbating issues, stigmatization, and transience housing; homeless youth require special consideration to meet their diverse health needs. When barriers impede homeless youth’s access to necessary health resources, their health concerns are left untreated and impound until emergency services are required. This review of literature is focused on identifying and synthesizing barriers and facilitators for homeless youth to access and utilize mental health care services.
When untreated mental illness reaches a crisis point, it becomes more expensive to treat (Taylor, Stuttaford, and Vostanis, 2006). For youth experiencing homelessness, various factors influence their decisions to wait until a crisis to reach out to emergency services. Within the literature, barriers and facilitators were bracketed into personal, social, and structural factors. These factors ranged from financial concerns, communication with health care providers and between health care service locations, stigmatization, lack of awareness, and administrative requirements. While further research is required, evidence from the literature shows promise in developing and altering interventions and communication to meet homeless youth’s mental health and substance abuse needs.
[A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the College of Nursing at the University of Central Florida Orlando]
Lucas, J. J. and K. A. Moore (2019). “Psychological flexibility: positive implications for mental health and life satisfaction.” Health Promotion International.
New wave therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy aim to cultivate people’s psychological flexibility in order for them to live a satisfying life. Psychological flexibility has also a role in promoting mental health, which may mediate the relationship with life satisfaction. The aim of this study was to determine whether mental health mediates the effect of psychological flexibility on life satisfaction. A convenience sample of 140 adults (32 males, M = 36.50 years, SD = 12.22; 107 females, M = 38.46 years, SD = 12.81; and a 45-year-old person of unknown gender) completed an online questionnaire assessing psychological flexibility, mental health and life satisfaction. Three of the four hypothesized components of psychological flexibility (experiential acceptance, cognitive alternatives and cognitive control) contributed to the latent construct of psychological flexibility, but cognitive defusion failed to contribute. Psychological flexibility had a direct, positive effect on life satisfaction and the hypothesis that mental health would mediate this relationship was supported. The results suggest that psychological flexibility is important for one’s mental health and that both are integral to life satisfaction. The results also support a continued focus on third-wave therapies in cultivating psychological flexibility.
O’Donovan, J., et al. (2019). “A Place to Call Home: Hearing the Perspectives of People Living with Homelessness and Mental Illness Through Service Evaluation.” Community Mental Health Journal.
There is an ongoing need to incorporate the perspectives of people in supported community housing to improve the provision of integrated mental health services. This study aimed to explore the satisfaction and experiences of people who have received supported housing and mental health services. We conducted a retrospective, mixed methods study using a data mining approach, analyzing consumer satisfaction survey responses collected on discharge from the service over a 7-year period. Responses from 178 consumers aged between 20 and 62 years were included. Quantitative results indicated that consumers rated the quality of services as relatively high. Analysis of qualitative responses identified seven themes describing people’s views on how they had benefitted from the service. Consumers reported benefits in terms of practical and emotional supports, responsiveness of the team to their needs, socialization and community integration, personal growth and recovery, and finding ‘my place’. Themes of learning and skills development were also important. These results suggest that practical support, together with emotional expressions of care and compassion are most valued by people who participated in this service. This research has implications for service evaluation and for future research, which may include focusing on the key role of connectedness, ‘my place’ and hope for recovery.
Rüsch, N., et al. (2019). “Efficacy of a peer-led group program for unemployed people with mental health problems: Pilot randomized controlled trial.” International Journal of Social Psychiatry 0(0): 0020764019846171.
Background:People with long-term unemployment and mental health problems often find it difficult to take active steps toward help-seeking and job search and to navigate the complex system of available services. Likewise, job center staff would welcome interventions to improve the reintegration of long-term unemployed individuals with mental health problems into the labor market.Aim:To examine the efficacy of a peer-led group program that supports unemployed people with mental health problems in terms of help-seeking, job search and recovery.Methods:Based on participatory research, a four-session group program was designed and evaluated in a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 42 participants, randomized to the program (n?=?23) or treatment as usual (n?=?19). Outcomes were assessed at baseline (T0), 3?weeks (T1), 6?weeks (T2) and 6?months later (T3).Results:There were no significant intervention effects on primary outcomes (job search self-efficacy and help-seeking). But compared to the control group, intervention participants showed significant improvements in depressive symptoms (p?=?.02) and recovery (p?=?.04) at T2 with medium effect sizes. There were trend-level positive program effects on self-stigma, hopelessness and secrecy.Conclusion:This pilot RCT provides initial evidence for the efficacy of a peer-led group program to improve symptoms and recovery among unemployed participants with mental health problems.
Szeto, A., et al. (2019). “Workplace Antistigma Programs at the Mental Health Commission of Canada: Part 2. Lessons Learned.” The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 0(0): 0706743719842563.
The Opening Minds Initiative of the Mental Health Commission of Canada has worked with many workplaces to implement and evaluate mental illness stigma reduction programs. This article describes the lessons learned from Opening Minds’ research and programming initiatives in the workplace target group and details some of the most valuable learnings from collaborating with workplace partners. These insights range from issues such as the recruitment of potential partners to the implementation of evaluation in the workplace. The lessons learned described here are not intended as the optimal ways of developing partnerships or conducting research in a workplace setting but are intended to highlight some of our experiences in implementing antistigma programming. These experiences are provided so that those who are in the same situation can draw from our learnings to make their efforts more efficient. To conclude, we discuss some of our thoughts in which the implementation of workplace mental illness stigma reduction programming should work towards in the future.
SOURCE: A selection of articles from a variety of sources on Unemployment Support Programs – Evaluations viewed 23 May 2019.
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