The purpose of this paper is to explore occupational health (OH) clinicians’ perspectives on employee mental health in the mental health workplace in the English National Health Service.Design/methodology/approachThematic analysis of data from seven semi-structured interviews is performed in this paper.FindingsThree themes emerged under the core theme of “Situating OH services”: “the Uniqueness of the mental health service setting”, “the Limitations of OH services” and “the Meaning of mental health at work”. An important finding came from the first theme that management referrals in mental health may be due to disputes about workers’ fitness to face violence and aggression, a common feature of their working environment.Research limitations/implicationsThis was a small scale study of a previously unresearched population.Practical implicationsThese findings should be used to refine and standardise OH provision for mental healthcare workers, with a particular focus on exposure to violence and workers’ potential “lived experience” of mental illness as features of the mental health care workplace.Originality/valueThis is the first study to explore OH clinicians’ perspectives on the mental health service working environment.
International Journal of Workplace Health Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 16, 2020
Keywords: Interviews; Mental health; Disclosure; Occupational health; Workplace violence