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A 1992 conference on strategies to secure and maintain employment for person with long-term mental illness brought together providers, consumers, family members, researches, and others to develop as complete an overview as possible of the current state of knowledge in the field. This booklet summarizes findings from the conference. There were many factors identified as contributing to unemployment among people with long-term mental illness, including the impact of psychiatric symptoms and the unpredictability of the illness itself, employer discrimination, and the disincentives to work created by professional skepticism and financial support systems. Nonetheless, there is every indication that people can overcome these barriers when effective programs offer rapid placement on real work sites, and where on-the-job supports are provided. The statement focuses on three areas of special concern to rehabilitation programming: (1) a systematic approach to increasing consumer empowerment, including providing mental health consumers with real choices in pursuing careers that interest them; (2) the need to address the financial disincentives inherent in the system of social support offered by various Federal and state agencies; and (3) the continuing challenge to explore and improve the attitudes of employers with regard to hiring people with mental illness. (Author/CR)

Descriptors: Adults, Economic Factors, Employer Attitudes, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Job Placement, Mental Disorders, Program Development, Program Effectiveness, Social Services, Supported Employment, Vocational Rehabilitation

Autor: NIDRR Consensus Statment, v1 n3 Sep 21-23 1992


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