Mental illnesses can be hard to overcome even with the help of medical treatments and therapy. In a new report compiled by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), researchers discovered that the unemployment rate for people with severe mental illnesses is more than 80 percent.
The states with the five highest levels of unemployed persons in the public mental health care system are:
- Maine 92.6 percent
- West Virginia 91.9 percent
- Hawaii 91.4 percent
- Pennsylvania 90.6 percent
- California 90.0 percent
Approximately 60 percent of the 7.1 million people receiving public mental health services nationwide want to work, but less than 2 percent receive supported employment opportunities provided by states.
NAMI’s, report, Road to Recovery: Employment and Mental Illness (www.nami.org/work), NAMI’s report highlights model programs nationally and proposes model legislation for states.
- One model legislative option is for a state to focus on Individual Placement and Support (IPS).
- The other is Vocational Supports (VS), representing a broader comprehensive approach, including supported education.
“NAMI wants states to make a commitment to help people with mental illness to recover,” said NAMI Executive Director Mary Giliberti. “Work is a critical part of recovery. As a nation, we still have a long way to go in recognizing that linkage.”
“Work is tied to a person’s sense of identity, dignity and worth in our society. Even during the recession, the national unemployment rate paled next to what people in the public mental health system routinely experience. We must do better.”
|Unemployed Adults with Mental Illness 20121|