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First Person Account of Returning to Education and Competitive Employment Following Serious Mental Illness

Abstract

Education and work goals are important for people with serious mental illness. For many these goals remain unmet. Increasingly people with serious mental illness are inspired by the stories of people who have been able to meet the challenges of gaining education and stable employment. Two peer workers describe their personal journeys to stable employment. Both authors note the significance of having someone believe in their potential to work. The benefits of stable employment went beyond finances and included improved self-esteem and an altruistic wish to provide a role model for others recovering from mental illness.Functional recovery from serious mental illness (SMI) especially in terms of completed education and employment goals is suboptimal. The clinical evidence base in enhancing functional recovery is increasingly complemented by the growing evidence base developed by the consumer network and by the rise in prominence of peer workers as a significant adjunctive mental health workforce.

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Correspondence to Frances Dark.

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Pommeranz, M., Lawrence, J. & Dark, F. First Person Account of Returning to Education and Competitive Employment Following Serious Mental Illness. J. Psychosoc. Rehabil. Ment. Health (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40737-021-00226-8

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Keywords

  • Peer worker
  • Education
  • Work
  • Serious mental illness
  • Recovery