For many young people, the goal of being able to work or study, despite their mental health conditions, is unfortunately met with pessimism by clinicians, friends and family. This pessimism relates to a longstanding history of poor employment outcomes for individuals with mental ill-health. In Australia, adults with a mental disorder are the most disadvantaged ‘disability’ group when it comes to employment. The onset of any mental illness in youth (i.e. prior to the age of 25) is also associated with unemployment, underemployment and rising levels of disability.
This Research Bulletin considers the evidence regarding the reasons for impaired vocational outcomes in young people with mental ill-health and how education and employment opportunities can be both enhanced and ultimately fulfilled as part of mental health care and treatment.