The relationship between mental health, self-esteem and unemployment is well established. Emerging research suggests that interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can counter the negative effects of unemployment and may improve re-employment. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a manual-based programme, which combines CBT with job skills training, in improving the psychological health and job- seeking skills of unemployed individuals within the UK. One hundred and nine unemployed individuals, suffering mild to moderate mental health problems, were referred to the programme. Of these, 47 completed the programme and 32 attended follow-up. The impact of the manualised course was evaluated using a randomised control trial with a waiting list control. On completion of the programme, participants showed improvements in mental health, self- esteem and job-search self-efficacy as well as a reduction in the occurrence of negative automatic thoughts. Twenty participants gained employment and improvements persisted at follow-up. Considering the initial levels of psychological distress and mental health problems among the unemployed sample, the need for adequate service provision for the unemployed is recommended.
Maguire, N., Hughes, V. C., Bell, L., Bogosian, A., & Hepworth, C. (2014). An evaluation of the choices for well-being project. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 19(3), 303-315. https://doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2013.806813