VocationIntervention with Psychiatric Patients
Humanshave always taken pride in the ability to fend for themselves throughwork. Unfortunately, this may not be the case, despite the will ofpeople with mental conditions. Often, they are forced to rely onfriends and family to survive, a thing that affects parties invarious ways. People with mental disabilities possess a lot ofenergy, which could be used positively, should their vocationalabilities be interviewed. Vocational Intervention or VocationalRehabilitation (VR) involves special and considerate methods ofmaking these people take part in work and also match the competitivenature of the job markets in the world. Putting this intoconsideration, this essay lays laser-like focus on vocationalrehabilitation. The paper analyses different approaches to VR,specifically the traditional Train-Then-Place and IndividualPlacement and Supportmethods, analyzing the characteristics of both. The paper thenexplains the some of the advantages and factors that hinder thesuccess of VR.
Mentalillnesses are perceived as the most expensive conditions due to itsprevalent and chronic characteristics. Because of this, the conditionposes a huge burden to the society. By the age of 55, it is projectedthat half the number of all adults will have at least one time,experienced a serious mental illness. Depression is projected to bevery prevalent in the 21stcentury, where approximately 20% of the youth are projected bevictims of clinical depression by the age of 18 [ CITATION Key07 l 1033 ].This great number shows how much family and friends have to deal withthe patients to help them cope with life.
Substantialstrides have been made by the health sector to increase theeffectiveness of the treatments of mental health. However, manyscientific challenges make it difficult to come up with promises fora permanent cure to the mental illness. This is because mentalillness has been identified as variegated illnesses, meaning theyexhibit different characteristics. Patients, therefore, reactdifferently to different pharmacotherapies or psychotherapies whichrender the available treatment as being only temporally [ CITATION Key07 l 1033 ]. Forpeople with mental disabilities, the goal of being able to work andstudy is met with lots of criticism and pessimism by family, friendsand even clinicians. The criticism is attributed to a longstandingrecord of poor performance from people with mental disabilities. Thisresults to these people being the most disadvantaged people when thesubject is employment. Often, they earn less, work for fewer hours orhave to depend on other adults for support. As a means of mentalhealth care, these people can be rehabilitated and get to work, andtherefore make the feel the joy of being able to depend onthemselves. To do this, therapists must make the nature of workunderstandable to the mental patients and as well as theinterpersonal sense-making and the essence of work, while stilladhering to their mental condition. (Baumaeister,2005)
Withthe intentions of making people with mental disabilities cope withlife and get employment, various high-quality researches have beencarried out in the USA and have been successful in conceptualizingvocational rehabilitation (VR).
Approachesto Vocational Rehabilitations
Thisis a traditional approach of VR. People with disabilities receivedservices and training to develop behaviors and skills that would helpthem work. “Sheltered” refers to an environment in which peoplewith disabilities were put. The environment was safe and protectedand aimed at preparing people with disabilities for competitiveemployment. Over time, this approach has been criticized, since itpeople in these environments remained there for a very long periodbefore they were fit and ready. As a result, these people were oftenexploited.
Also,people in these environments would hardly see the outcomes in theirrespective community. The earnings were low, which forced them toremain dependent on government benefit plans. Another criticismexplained that it was significantly difficult for people withdisabilities to generalize knowledge and skills from one place toanother. Integration with people while out of the shelteredenvironment was difficult and progress into competitive employmentwas not successful. This resulted in very poor workability when outof the sheltered environments. Sheltered employment isolated peoplewith disabilities from the rest of the community, and this caused avery negative attitude and lack of expectations, which in turncontributed to low performance (Rehm,1999).
Toovercome these issues, supported employment was viewed as a betteralternative, especially for people with cognitive disabilities.
IndividualPlacement and Support
Owingmuch to successful research, people with mental abilities can beprofessionally trained and be part of a nation’s work stream. Themost effective method to achieve this is through Individual Placementand Support, commonly known as IPS. IPS has proven to be an effectiveapproach to getting people with mental disabilities to work, ascompared to the other method of Train-Then-Place. Contrary to this,IPS gets the people to engage in competitive employment. At the sametime, close training and support are offered. IPS has shown to beeffective, where clients are twice as likely to get employed and workfor relatively longer. Also, get employment show lowerhospitalization rates. ISP has shown to work more effectively when itfollows eight key principles.
The aim is to get clients into competitive job market
Is available to all who express interest in working
Aims at finding jobs that are in line with people’s preferences
Job supports are constant and continuous
Based on a person’s preferences, relationships between employers and employment specialists are developed.
Includes the benefits of personalized counseling
Health treatment services are integrated with employment services
Job hunts start as soon as one shows interest in work.
Supportedemployment teams usually offer services who work hand in hand withcommunity agencies dealing with mental health. As soon as a clientexpresses interest in work, they are referred to employmentspecialist, who then works with the client to learn about theirpreferences and takes them through the working of IPS. Thespecialists then provide on-job support, while coaching and creatinga positive with the employer. The specialist has to ensure that theemployer is aware of the client’s mental condition and that workenvironment is also conducive. The specialist also connects theclient with a counselor to help them make decisions on the preferredjob as well as the amount of work to be dedicated to work.
Asopposed to the traditional sheltered employment, IPS helps inboosting the workability of people with mental illnesses. They cancope well with competitive employment since they do not have toundergo the sudden change of the working environment. On thecontrary, they are trained while still in placement, which gives riseto the term “Place-Then-Train.” The earnings from IPS aresignificantly higher, and thus, they do not have to rely ongovernment benefits. People with disabilities are w able to fend forthemselves positively. This plays a great role in improving theirworkability as they are kept motivated by the comfortable earnings. In IPS, clients do not experience isolation, which booststheir social life. Better yet, they can create helpful relationshipswith their trainers and employers. Also, they have personalcounselors who help them improve their decision-making as well astheir social lives. This way, they can cope with competitiveness inthe job industry.
Advantagesof Mental Patients’ Vocational Rehabilitation
VocationalRehabilitation of people with a mental health condition like everyother type of employment is very advantageous and helps them copepositively with life and earn a living, like everyone else. It isvery human to feel proud of oneself when one can provide forthemselves, through work and not having to rely on someone else forsupport (Wrzesniewski,2003). Peoplewith mental illness almost entirely have to depend on family andfriends to cope with life. This demoralizes those taking care ofthese patients since they have to forego their activities to cater tothe needs of these patients. It is, therefore, a relief when thesepatients can fend for themselves through working.
VocationalRehabilitation helps people with disabilities gain enhancedself-esteem. Like everyone else, they can enter the mainstream of thesociety. The feel of being self-reliant, despite their conditionshelps, in a great way, to create positivity in life. Theirworkability is enhanced, and they can apply their skills to solvelife problem (McAdams,2001).
Dueto vocational rehabilitation, employers can hire skilled workers whoshow high performance. Vocational rehabilitation helps to preservethese skills and once again, have them being applicable in real life.Patients with high levels of reliability, security, and performancecan enter the work stream and be of much better use. This plays agreat role in preventing wasting away of experiences as well asefforts that were applied to acquire education and skills.
Peoplewith a mental health condition also play a great role in contributingto the growth of the nation. As seen earlier, the percentages ofpeople who suffer mental illness are huge. Putting the best of peoplein this bracket back into a country’s workforce helps in promotingnational growth since they contribute in earning taxes for a country.Moreover, this means reduced institutionalization and welfare costs,which help in contributing to the growth of a country. People withdisabilities also have more spending power, which contributes to acountries economy (Dik,2012).
Drawbacksin Vocational Rehabilitation
Varioushindrances lie in the way of the success of vocationalrehabilitation. Among them, is the dynamic nature of employment.Employment demand is changing in a great way, influenced byunavoidable factors such as technology. Organizational structures ofcompanies are also changing rapidly and seem to focus more on theteam-based style of working. Emphases are being laid on productivity,flexibility and the socialization skills in a given workforce. Peoplewith disabilities may find it hard to cope with this, and thus, VRprofessionals should have a thorough understanding of the employers’concerns in regards to hiring people with disabilities.
Societalinsensitivity is also a huge problem since the society is often notready to accept people with mental health conditions back at home andare discriminated. Usually, these patients face insults, which ismore likely to slow their healing process. Despite the legalintervention in declaring discrimination as being unlawful, peoplewith mental disabilities still go through this. This goes a long wayin making their working conditions unfavorable. As a result, theirworkability is reduced, and the effect takes a toll on their mentalhealth. People with mental disabilities require very favorableworking conditions for them to meet the possible high working levels.VR professionals should, therefore, be familiar with the demands of aconducive working environment (Bruner,J. 2004).
Peoplewith mental disabilities also face employment-related challenges,where jobs are not available. Even for people with disabilities,employment stands to be a huge problem, where employmentopportunities are way fewer than the growing populations. Issues suchas gender inequalities still affect VR since gender inequalitiesaffect almost every setting in life.
VRalso suffers irregular follow-up, primarily due to financialincapability. Mental care is expensive, and many people may notafford it. This problem cuts across people with all economic levels,since the nature of mental illnesses varies. Rehabilitation startswith medication, which may be a lifetime affair. Patients may not bein a position to get these drugs regularly. Many patients also sufferbeing dumped in hospitals, where family members put them in theseinstitutions. As a result, the patients suffer since hospitals mayalso not have the ability to have them for extended periods of time.
Inas much as experts have not found a permanent cure for mentalillnesses, people with these conditions can still be able to go abouttheir life. Basing on the different approaches of vocationaltraining, traditional Train-Then-Place approaches only intensify theamount of pain that victims of mental disorders go through, making itmore difficult for them cope with life, while also draining countriesof energy. As opposed to this, the IPS approach should be an applied.The burden of family and friends having to forego their endeavors tolook after these patients is reduced or eliminated while at the sametime, positively harnessed the energy in people with mentaldisabilities to contribute to national growth. Most importantly, thevictims can grow and view life in a better, brighter perspective.
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