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Advances in Public Health
Volume 2014, Article ID 258614, 7 pages
Review Article

Perspectives on Employment Integration, Mental Illness and Disability, and Workplace Health

1Human Sciences Research Council, Private Bag X41, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2R3
3School of Built Environment and Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa
4Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, No. 444, 11044-82 Avenue, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G OT2

Received 4 July 2014; Accepted 3 November 2014; Published 20 November 2014

Academic Editor: John Godleski

Copyright © 2014 Nene Ernest Khalema and Janki Shankar. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper reviews the literature on the interplay between employment integration and retention of individuals diagnosed with mental health and related disability (MHRD). Specifically, the paper addresses the importance of an integrative approach, utilizing a social epidemiological approach to assess various factors that are related to the employment integration of individuals diagnosed with severe mental illness. Our approach to the review incorporates a research methodology that is multilayered, mixed, and contextual. The review examines the literature that aims to unpack employers’ understanding of mental illness and their attitudes, beliefs, and practices about employing workers with mental illness. Additionally we offer a conceptual framework entrenched within the social determinants of the mental health (SDOMH) literature as a way to contextualize the review conclusions. This approach contributes to a holistic understanding of workplace mental health conceptually and methodologically particularly as practitioners and policy makers alike are grappling with better ways to integrate employees who are diagnosed with mental health and disabilities into to the workplace.