Economic Opportunities And Disincentives For The Mentally Ill

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Authors: Richard Warner, M.B., D.P.M. and Paul Polak, M.D. - Mental Health Centre of Boulder County Inc, USA

Year: 1994

Event: 1994 TheMHS Conference

Subject: employment, consumer enterprise, book of proceedings

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 0646251104

Abstract: Each day, people in our society, the mentally disabled among them, make decisions about how to earn and spend their money. A number of important considerations spurred the authors to conduct the pilot study, reported here, of these aspects of the day-to-day economic life of the mentally ill in the community.

In the first place, although work appears to have an important positive effect on the course of serious mental illness (Warner 1994) and many mentally disabled people have substantial work capacity, only 10% to 20% of people with mental illness are employed in the U.S. (Anthony Cohen and Danley 1988). Why is this so? Making the assumption that the mentally ill are a disadvantaged group whose members make rational economic decisions, we set out to establish whether they face disincentives to work.

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