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The Experience of KAI MAHI, an Employment Initiative for People with an Experience of Mental Illness, as Told by Zarna, Zeus, Lulu, Mary, Paul, and Hemi

Abstract

There is a growing body of evidence endorsing the use of supported employment models for people with an experience of mental illness. However current literature and research regarding the perspective of people with experience of mental illness, as well as alternate models of employment support, is sparse. This study has captured the stories of employment of people with experience of mental illness who participated in KAI MAHI, a group based employment program. Findings identified key components of KAI MAHI, consistent with their overall experiences of employment, which were influential in assisting them to find and sustain employment. These included the opportunity for self-determination, a sense of self-efficacy, and respectful relationships.

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Notes

  1. Here severe mental illness has been defined as people with an Axis 1 mental health diagnosis as defined in the DSM iv (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, American Psychiatric Association, 2000) and/or a mental health diagnosis that is impacting on their ability to do the things that a person needs and wants to do, causing disruption to occupational life roles.

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Acknowledgments

This study completed with funding from Vic Davis Memorial Trust, and in association with the Otago Polytechnic.

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Correspondence to Janie de Malmanche.

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de Malmanche, J., Robertson, L. The Experience of KAI MAHI, an Employment Initiative for People with an Experience of Mental Illness, as Told by Zarna, Zeus, Lulu, Mary, Paul, and Hemi. Community Ment Health J 51, 880–887 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-015-9909-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-015-9909-x

Keywords

  • Mental health
  • Employment
  • Self determination
  • Self-efficacy
  • Respectful relationships