Attitudes of employers toward people with mental illness: Conditions and problems with the employment policy for the disabled in Taiwan

Feng Hang Chang, Chueh Chang, Yawen Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: The aims of this study were to explore employers' perceptions of people with mental illness, and to understand their attitudes and concerns about the employment policy for the disabled in Taiwan. Methods: In-depth interviews with 13 employers (including 7 employers who hired people with mental illness, and 6 who did not) were conducted. Responses were audio taped, transcribed, and coded. All the data were synthesized and interpreted. Results: Despite the fact that all employers agreed that people with mental illness had the same right to work as did normal people, over half were not willing to hire them because of concerns about their symptoms and work competencies. With regard to the employment policy, we found: 1) most employers were not aware of the employment policy; 2) the economic incentives seemed weak to employers; 3) most employers had insufficient knowledge about mental illness; 4) the quality of job coaches and employment support services was low. Conclusions:order to increase employers' willingness to hire people with mental illness, the government should strengthen the support system for both employers and employees. Efforts should also be made to improve the quality of employment support services, adjust the economic incentives, increase awareness of the employment policy, and enhance knowledge and acceptance with regard to mental illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011



  • Employment
  • Mental illness
  • Policy intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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