Adults with serious mental illness face 80% unemployment

Adults with serious mental illness face 80% unemployment

Washington Post: Only 17.8% of people receiving public mental health services were employed in 2012—down for 23% in 2003.

“It isn’t surprising,” says Sita Diehl, director of state policy at NAMI and author of the report.  The problem has less to with the workers themselves, she says, and more with the organizations that provide services for people with serious mental illness.  “We knew that mental health services really took it on the chin during the recession. Employment rates had already been dismal to begin with, and when the supports were eroded, people with mental illness lost support and lost jobs.”

Most adults with mental illness want to work, and six in 10 can succeed with the right supports, according to the report. Yet only 1.7 percent received supported employment services in 2012.

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