Employment services for persons with serious mental illness in northeastern Ontario: the case for partnerships

Karen L Rebeiro Gruhl, Carol Kauppi, Phyllis Montgomery, Susan James
Work: a Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation 2012, 43 (1): 77-89

OBJECTIVE: To better understand why employment success is low, a case study was conducted to examine the influence of place on access to employment for persons with serious mental illness (SMI) residing in two northeastern Ontario communities (Rebeiro, in progress).

METHODS: Community-based participatory research methods were used to engage persons who experience SMI, decision-makers and providers in the research. Forty-six interviews were conducted, complemented by primary and secondary quantitative data sources.

RESULTS: While most consumers consider employment to be a key element of their recovery, employment rates for persons with SMI remain limited in northeastern Ontario, Canada. The findings of this case study reveal the importance of collaborative partnerships to fostering better employment outcomes in northeastern Ontario.

CONCLUSION: The challenges of collaboration due to rural and northern tensions, as well as various jurisdictional and funding tensions existing at the level of community support the case for partnerships in the provision of employment services in northern and rural places.

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