By David T. Applegate, Research and Policy Assistant, National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity
In recent months, mental illness and its repercussions have received an increasing amount of attention. This is in large part due to startling and public tragedies such as Robin Williams’ death and the spate of horrific mass shootings across the country. While these events deservedly garner a rush of headlines and national attention, it’s important to remember that millions of Americans struggle with the day-to-day impacts of mental illness. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that upwards of twenty percent of Americans suffer from some form of mental illness and 10 million of these individuals have a “serious mental illness.”
For many of these individuals, having a serious mental health condition acts a significant barrier to employment and economic well-being. This is especially true for already-vulnerable individuals, including people experiencing homelessness and people returning home from incarceration. At Heartland’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity, we believe that every person deserves the opportunity to work and support themselves and their families. In recognition of World Mental Health Day on October 10 and Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), the National Initiatives team is highlighting why it’s critical to address the employment needs of people with mental illness and offers some strategies for doing so.
By Melissa Young, Associate Director, NTJN
Last week, President Obama put forward an ambitious vision for his second Presidential term in his State of the Union address, including six good ideas to fight unemployment, grow good jobs at home, and ensure that no one who works full time lives in poverty. Whether or not his vision will gain traction within the contentious ranks of our divided Congress over the course of the next four years remains to be seen. Meanwhile, in the coming months at the National Transitional Jobs Network, we’re poised to continue to fight for federal policies that get chronically unemployed Americans back to work.
Here are the six good ideas the President proposed last week:
1. Creating Pathways to Jobs For All Americans. The president put forward “an ambitious plan in his budget to support summer and year-round jobs for low-income youth and put the long-term unemployed and low-income adults back to work.” Read More…