Purpose: The current study was undertaken to understand and describe the meaning of work as well as the barriers and facilitators perceived by young people with mental health conditions for gaining and maintaining employment.
Materials and Methods: Employing a purposive and maximum variation sampling, 30 young people were recruited and interviewed. The respondents were Singapore residents with a mean age of 26.8 years (SD 1⁄4 4.5, range 20–34years); the majority were males (56.7%), of Chinese ethnicity (63.3%), and employed (73.3%), at the time of the interview. Verbatim transcripts were analysed using inductive the- matic analysis.
Results: Three global themes emerged from the analyses of the narratives, which included (i) the mean- ing of employment, (ii) barriers to employment comprising individual, interpersonal and systemic difficul- ties and challenges participants faced while seeking and sustaining employment and (iii) facilitators of employment that consisted of individual and interpersonal factors that had helped the young persons to gain and maintain employment.
Conclusions: Stigma and discrimination emerged as one of the most frequently mentioned employment barriers. These barriers are not insurmountable and can be overcome both through legislation as well as through the training and support of young people with mental health conditions.