Implementation of an employment intervention in mental health teams: a naturalistic 1-year employment outcome study in people with severe mental illness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Steven Marwaha
  • Eleanor Gilbert
  • Sarah Flanagan

Colleges, School and Institutes


BACKGROUND: In the UK, the severely mentally ill have high rates of unemployment.

AIMS: To (1) evaluate implementation of an employment intervention and (2) test the effectiveness of training an existing staff member in providing the employment intervention (Model A) against the provision of a dedicated employment specialist to a team (Model B).

METHODS: An employment service was implemented in five mental health teams, with three teams having an existing team member trained and two teams receiving an additional member of staff to carry out the employment intervention. Work outcomes for the two groups were compared at 1 year.

RESULTS: Competitive employment was obtained by 17.7% receiving an employment intervention (10.3%, Model A versus 22.8% Model B). Rates of employment or training obtained were 25.6% (10/39) in Model A versus 35.1% (20/57) in Model B, but the difference was not statistically different. Type of employment service model was not significantly associated with working.

CONCLUSION: An employment service can be introduced effectively into mental health teams in the UK and positive employment outcomes achieved in a short space of time. Providing an additional resource is more effective compared to asking existing staff to deliver the intervention alongside other roles.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-139
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2014


  • Adult, Employment, Female, Humans, Male, Mental Health Services, Mentally Ill Persons/psychology, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Severe mental illness, implementation

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