Between 85 and 95% of persons with a serious mental illness are unemployed at any one point in time-- a staggering figure for a largely working age population (The High Cost of Cutting Mental Health). This rate of unemployment dwarfs rates among other disability groups and is one that has not changed substantially for a generation.
For those with serious mental illness, work has been shown to increase a person’s financial security, build self-confidence, increase community integration and foster hope.
Some major barriers to employment include stigma and discrimination, lack of job accommodations, and potential loss of housing, disability and medical benefits. For more information on working while disabled, visit Disability Benefits 101.