Supported Employment: the employment consultants' perspective
Supported employment (SE) organisations work to support people with mental illness into employment. This study sought to examine the experiences and perspectives of staff that work for a SE service. This qualitative study was undertaken as the existing literature examining this area is limited. Nine employment consultants from a New Zealand SE service participated in a focus group that involved questions about their experiences and perceptions of the SE programme. The data was audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis was then performed. A number of themes were identified in the data. These included: factors can that act as incentives or disincentives to employment, factors that can work to impede or assist the employment process, positive and negative factors about the SE service, strategies that are employed to overcome barriers, and potential improvements that could be made to the service. The findings are discussed along with the potential changes that could be made to SE programmes to increase effectiveness.