For those diagnosed with mental health disorders, employment can be an essential part of ongoing recovery. As with all professionals, people with mental health challenges can find purpose, productivity and consistency in a good job.
Moreover, employment offers more tangible advantages: steady work empowers financial independence, while employer-based insurance can ease access to care. For reasons that are both personal and practical, many people with mental health disorders seek to balance self-care with fulfilling careers.
Unfortunately, people with mental health conditions often find themselves sidelined from the workforce, despite their considerable talents and skills. The stigmatization of mental illness limits job prospects for millions of individuals – despite legal protections designed to prevent this kind of discrimination. This is particularly true for individuals with certain disorders. People with schizophrenia, for example, are six to seven times more likely to be unemployed than the general population.
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As of 2010, there were over 2.1 million American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) under the age of 24 living in the U.S.
"I want to help knock out stereotypes because Native Youth should be confident in their identity. These outcomes need to and will change in my community, even if it takes years."