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Work Accommodations and Natural Supports for Employees with Severe Mental Illness in Social Businesses: An International Comparison

Abstract

Little is known about the types of work accommodations and natural supports that are useful for people experiencing severe mental illness working in social businesses. We conducted an exploratory, descriptive and cross-sectional investigation in Australia, Canada and Italy to study the nature of work accommodations and natural supports available in social businesses. Study findings are drawn from survey responses of a convenience sample of 90 employees with self-reported psychiatric disabilities. Results showed that, regardless of the country, social businesses provide many work accommodations and natural supports, especially those linked to schedule flexibility and support, while work accommodations related to training and schedule flexibility were linked to longer job tenure. Overall, this study advances our knowledge about the spectrum of work accommodations and natural supports that are available in social businesses for people with severe mental illness. Also, it highlights the type of work accommodations that are likely to support this population to sustain employment.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Work Disability Prevention Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategic Training Program Grant (FRN: 53909).

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Correspondence to Patrizia Villotti.

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All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (University of Trento, Italy; Universitè de Sherbrooke, Canada; University of Melbourne, Australia) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Villotti, P., Corbière, M., Fossey, E. et al. Work Accommodations and Natural Supports for Employees with Severe Mental Illness in Social Businesses: An International Comparison. Community Ment Health J 53, 864–870 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-016-0068-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-016-0068-5

Keywords

  • Work participation
  • Work accommodations
  • Natural supports
  • Mental illness
  • Social business