Tilburg University promotie PhD Defense

PhD Defense R.I. Bogaers

Date: Time: 13:30 Location: Aula

Stigma as a barrier to sustainable employment and well-being of workers with mental health issues and illnesses: A mixed methods study in the Dutch military

  • Location: Cobbenhagen building, Aula
  • Supervisors: Prof. J. van Weeghel, Prof. E.P.M. Brouwers
  • Co-supervisor:  Dr. S.G. Geuze

Military personnel often work in dangerous and emotionally taxing conditions, which can lead to psychological complaints. International research shows that military personnel often do not seek help for these complaints because of the stigma attached to them. Not seeking help and leaving complaints undiscussed can have negative consequences for the long-term employability of military personnel. The aim of the PhD research was to gain insight into the choice to seek help and the choice to discuss complaints with a superior in the Dutch Armed Forces. This was investigated using qualitative and quantitative research. The research revealed strongly that stigma is a barrier to both these choices, and thus to sustainable employability. Furthermore, attitudes, knowledge and understanding of the manager play a crucial role. Future research, interventions and policies should therefore focus on reducing stigma and training managers on mental health issues.

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