The latest academic paper from our collaboration with the University of Warwick has been published in the Journal of Mental Health.
The research was carried out as the academics suggested that UK social firms are under-researched but are a potentially important vocational option for people with mental health problems.
The aims were to describe the clinical profile, satisfaction levels and experiences of social firms
employees with mental health problems.
Clinical, work and service use characteristics were collected from social firms’ employees with mental health problems in England and Wales. Workplace experience and satisfaction were explored qualitatively.
The research found that predominantly, social firms’ employees report that they have a diagnosis of depression and anxiety. People with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder were a minority.
Respondents had low symptom and disability levels, high quality of life and job satisfaction and experienced reductions in secondary mental health service use over time.
High-workplace satisfaction was related to flexibility, manager and colleague support and workplace accommodations.
The research concluded that the clinical profile, quality of life and job satisfaction level of employees with mental health problems suggest social firms could be a useful addition to UK vocational services for some people. Current employees mainly have common mental disorders, but social firms will need to shift their focus if they are to form a substantial pathway for the vocational recovery of a wider range of people currently using community mental health teams.