Mental illness is associated with a high unemployment rate. To counter this problem, there are both public-sector and third-sector organization programs explicitly aiming at the improvement in the chances of employment for individuals with mental illness. These programs are of two different types: supported employment and prevocational training (Crowther et al. 2001; 2010). Whereas supported employment places clients in competitive jobs without extended preparation, prevocational training involves a period of preparation (e.g., sheltered workshops, transitional employment, or skills training) before entering into competitive employment. The Clubhouse-created Transitional Employment Program (Raeburn et al. 2015), which this project targets at, is one of the organization providing vocational services.
The Transitional Employment Program – like any other program involving human agents – takes ultimately place in social interactions between people. Transitional workplaces are created in interactions between the representatives of the Clubhouse organization and those of the Employer, while the mental health rehabilitants need to interact with the Clubhouse staff and other members to enter the program. At the workplace, then, the members needs to communicate with their employers and get acquainted with their new colleagues. Our aim is to come to a thorough understanding of these critical interactions along the way of the mental health rehabilitant to employment, so as to find out how such processes could be facilitated.