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    Employability of Persons With Mental Disability: Understanding Lived Experiences in Kenya

    Ebuenyi, Ikenna and Guxens, Mònica and Ombati, Elizabeth and Bunders-Aelen, Joske F.G. and Regeer, Barbara J. (2019) Employability of Persons With Mental Disability: Understanding Lived Experiences in Kenya. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10 (539). ISSN 1664-0640

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    Introduction: Globally, mental illness affects social and occupational functioning. We aimed to highlight the barriers to employment experienced by persons with mental disabilities in Kenya and how they manage to find work against all the odds. Materials and Methods: Using a mixed-method study design, we purposely sampled persons with mental illness through networks of persons with psychosocial disabilities (Users and Survivors of Psychiatry and Africa Mental Health Foundation, Kenya). Qualitative data were obtained through in-depth interviews (n = 14) and four focus group discussions (n = 30), while a researcher-designed questionnaire was used to obtain quantitative data (n = 72). Results: We identified five major clusters of barriers to employment: mental illness factors, social exclusion and stigma, work identity crisis, non-accommodative environment, and socioeconomic status. Factors that facilitated employment include self-awareness and acceptance, self-employment, provision of reasonable accommodation, improved health services, addressing discriminatory laws and practices, and social development programs and support. Participants considered psychiatric illness the highest barrier to employment (63.2%), while supportive family/friends were considered the highest facilitator of employment (54.5%). Conclusion: The employment experiences of persons with mental disabilities are influenced by various interrelated factors in their social environment. Proactive social support and affirmative action by government may improve their employment opportunities and quality of life.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Copyright © 2019 Ebuenyi, Guxens, Ombati, Bunders-Aelen and Regeer. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. Cite as: Ebuenyi ID, Guxens M, Ombati E, Bunders-Aelen JFG and Regeer BJ (2019) Employability of Persons With Mental Disability: Understanding Lived Experiences in Kenya. Front. Psychiatry 10:539. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00539
    Keywords: employability; self-employment; social support; psychosocial disability; Kenya; East Africa;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 15373
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Ikenna Ebuenyi
    Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2022 16:10
    Journal or Publication Title: Frontiers in Psychiatry
    Publisher: Frontiers Media
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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