Work is recovery
Work is just one area of life where stigma can manifest. Especially for the many people struggling with serious mental illness, who are often labeled as “too sick” or “too dangerous” to work. The majority of individuals with serious mental illness express the desire to work, yet their employment rates are estimated to be 22%, with little more than half of that percentage working full-time.
The rest are placed into sheltered workshops and paid a fraction of minimum wage to do meaningless jobs, like crushing cans or stuffing envelopes. They are typically isolated from the rest of the workforce, further worsening their experience of stigma.
Fewer than 2% of people with serious mental illness have access to evidenced-based employment services. This needs to change. And programs like Individual Placement and Support (IPS) can help people with mental illness find and keep meaningful jobs, supporting their mental health recovery.