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Mental health disability: an international perspective

Drake, Robert E., Bond, Gary R., Thornicroft, Graham, Knapp, Martin ORCID: 0000-0003-1427-0215 and Goldman, Howard H. (2012) Mental health disability: an international perspective. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 23 (2). pp. 110-120. ISSN 1044-2073

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1044207311427403


Mental health disability imposes an enormous cost to patients, families, and society. Across free market countries, the rate of mental health disability is growing and now constitutes about one third of all disability claimants. Living on disability benefits begets demoralization and passivity. This article reviews (a) the current status of mental health disability and mental health disability systems, (b) the encouraging findings related to research on evidence-based treatments and supported employment, and (c) policy changes that might ameliorate the problem of rising rates (and costs) of mental health disability. Mental health treatments, employment services, and disability policies powerfully shape the disability experience. Evidence-based mental health and employment services can ameliorate disability and could potentially prevent disability if applied as early interventions. Yet evidence-based mental health treatments and supported employment services are rarely available. Furthermore, current disability policies tend to trap people in a “disability benefits culture.” Policy changes should recognize that people with mental health disabilities usually want to work, that they are often able to work when provided with appropriate mental health and vocational services, and that employment is highly therapeutic. Disability policies need to strengthen work incentives for beneficiaries, providers, and employers.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Hammill Institute on Disabilities
Divisions: Social Policy
Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2012 11:04
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2024 23:33

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