Vocational training and workers' mental health awareness: a comparative study in an (un)employment situation

Joaquim Eurico Valentim Oliveira José Fernando Vasconcelos Cabral Pinto Rita Manuela de Almeida Barros About the authors

Background:

the present reconfiguration of the labor market arises in the context of new economic, social and historical events, characterized by complexity, uncertainty, unpredictability and acceleration.

Objective:

given the psychosocial adaptation required by this context, the present study intends to distinguish workers' self-perception concerning their mental health, according to their participation in vocational training programs, whether they are employed or unemployed.

Methods:

to achieve this purpose we interviewed 210 workers. To evaluate self-perceived mental health, a Portuguese adaptation of the General Health Questionnaire (G.H.Q.-28) was used .

Results:

results evidenced significant differences in workers' mental health self-perception. These differences were related to the workers' attendance in vocational programs, with advantage for those attending courses, whether men or women (t=-4.503; p<0.001 and t=-4.737; p<0.001), employed or unemployed (t=-5.551; p<0.001 and t=-2.458; p<0.05). It was also found that the employed workers who continued to join vocational training offers had a significantly more favorable mental health self perception (t=-5.138; p<0.001).

Conclusion:

results support the hypothesis that involvement in vocational training activities functions as a protective element for workers' mental health.

labor market; vocational training; mental health


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