What works? Flexibility as a Work-Participation Strategy for People with Addiction and Mental-Health Problems


  • Gunnar Vold Hansen Høgskolen i Østfold Avdeling for helse- og sosialfag
  • Ragnhild Fugletveit Høgskolen i Østfold Avdeling for helse- og sosialfag
  • Petter A Arvesen Høgskolen i Østfold Avdeling for helse- og sosialfag




work, addictions and mental disorders, flexibility, Integration and normalization, User participation and resource orientation


For many years the education and training of people with addictions and mental-health problems have been a key strategy to assist people to find ordinary jobs. This strategy is largely concerned with adapting people to the requirements of the workplace. An alternative strategy can also be envisaged, where the workplace adapts to the possibilities and resources of the people (Hansen, 2009). In this article, we raise the following question: how is it possible to adapt workplaces for people with addiction and mental-health problems? Here we highlight the experiences of a workplace that focuses on adapting to employees’ capabilities and resources. The data collection consists both of 12 interviews with managers and workers and of participant observation of the workplace. Our answer to our question is that this is possible because the workplace is flexible in the way that they adapt their demands to the workers’ resources.

Author Biographies

Gunnar Vold Hansen, Høgskolen i Østfold Avdeling for helse- og sosialfag


Ragnhild Fugletveit, Høgskolen i Østfold Avdeling for helse- og sosialfag


Petter A Arvesen, Høgskolen i Østfold Avdeling for helse- og sosialfag



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How to Cite

Hansen, G. V., Fugletveit, R., & Arvesen, P. A. (2015). What works? Flexibility as a Work-Participation Strategy for People with Addiction and Mental-Health Problems. Nordic Journal of Social Research, 6. https://doi.org/10.7577/njsr.2086