Don't show any sign of a chip in your armor : the communicative co construction of mental health in correctional work
This study examined the communicative construction of mental health in correctional work. Using narrative interviews with 25 current and former correctional officers, I explore how macro, meso, and micro D/discourses both enable and constrain communication and action around mental health for correctional employees. The findings suggest that larger cultural Discourses related to masculinity, bounded rationality, and personal responsibility, meso discourses related to organizational expectations, and daily micro-talk about mental health and resources such as the Employee Assistance Program, primarily create and sustain communication barriers that limit correctional workers from communicating about or seeking help for mental health challenges. From a critical perspective, D/discourses related to power and control privileged the rational experiences of workers and marginalized the emotional/physical experiences, a practice I argue has significant implications for the health and well-being of workers.
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