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Mental Illness Leads to Joblessness, Poverty

March 26, 2014

Mental illness and poverty go hand in hand. People with mental illness face barriers which include stigma and discrimination. This often prevents them from acquiring education and holding a job. Mental illness can also interrupt a person’s chosen career path and result in lack of employment. In turn, this affects the amount of money he or she can make and will ultimately lead to a life of poverty.

Helping Individuals with Mental Illnesses Earn Income Mental Illness Leads to Joblessness, Poverty

Lack of Education can lead to Poverty

Unfortunately, people with disabilities tend to have lower levels of education. Often times, mental illness shows up starting in childhood or early adolescence. Since this is when development of the mind is most critical, the onset of mental illness can wreak havoc on a person’s life. Ultimately, it may result in reduced opportunities to get better jobs down the road; because the person with disability a poor background of education, he or she will only be eligible for low income jobs. This continues the cycle of poverty and blocks any attempt to better provide for needs.

How Employment is affected by Mental Illness

A person with a mental illness can have trouble holding a job. Not because the individual doesn’t want to work but because the cycle of the illness causes issues. Work for an individual can increase his or her self-esteem and give a sense of independence as well as financial support. But a person with a serious mental illness often leaves jobs or is fired before there is opportunity to advance. This can prohibit the individual from advancing to higher levels and ultimately lead to a life of poverty.

Negative Chain Reaction Leads to Joblessness, Poverty

For a person with mental health issues, maintaining stability is important. Unfortunately, safe and affordable housing is sometimes out of reach. If the individual finds decent housing, then nothing is left for food, clothing and other basic needs. If the person cannot afford housing, then the risk of becoming homeless is greatly multiplied. If the person becomes homeless, then the person’s mental illness may grow worse because of neglect for other basic needs. This negative chain reaction makes it near impossible for the individual to find gainful employment without receiving help and acclimating to society once again.

There are some things which can be done. Promoting mental health by identifying the underlying issues is one step. More affordable housing to help alleviate poverty is another. These are issues which can be solved by advocating for policies which address these problems.

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