Arlington, Va.—One of the best steps in recovery from mental illness is a job, but the national unemployment rate for individuals receiving public mental health services is approximately 80 percent, according to a report issued by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
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.
"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."
1 SAMHSA (2012) Uniform Reporting System 2012 http://www.samhsa.gov/dataoutcomes/urs/urs2012.aspx
2 Unemployed = unemployed + not in labor force (NLF)
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
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