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The Relationship Between Hope, Social Inclusion, and Mental Wellbeing in Supported Employment

  • Debra A. Dunstan (a1), Amanda K. Falconer (a1) and Ian R. Price (a1)

This study explored the relationships between hope, social inclusion, and mental wellbeing in a sample of people in recovery from mental illness. Participants were 70 adults (60% male) with a psychiatric disability (71.4% schizophrenia) who were engaged in supported employment by an Australian Disability Enterprise. Compared to others diagnosed with a mental disorder, the participants in this study had higher levels of hope, social inclusion, and mental wellbeing, and lower levels of psychological distress. Hope and social inclusion predicted mental wellbeing, with social inclusion partially mediating the relationship between the other two constructs. Participants reported experiencing the psychosocial benefits of work (e.g., structured activity and a shared purpose) but were dissatisfied with their wages. The findings support Jahoda's Latent Deprivation theory of social inclusion and the psychosocial benefits of work participation to recovery from mental illness.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Debra A Dunstan Discipline of Psychology, School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences University of New England Armidale, NSW, 2351 Australia. E-mail:
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