Mental Illness and Employment Discrimination

Heather Stuart


Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2006;19(5):522-526. 

In This Article


Stigma is both a proximate and a distal cause of employment inequity for people with a mental disability who experience direct discrimination because of prejudicial attitudes from employers and workmates and indirect discrimination owing to historical patterns of disadvantage, structural disincentives against competitive employment and generalized policy neglect. Against this background, modern mental health rehabilitation models and legislative philosophies, which focus on citizenship rights and full social participation, are to be welcomed. Yet, recent findings demonstrate that the legislation remains vulnerable to the very prejudicial attitudes they are intended to abate. Research conducted during the past year continues to highlight the multiple attitudinal and structural barriers that prevent people with mental disabilities from becoming active participants in the competitive labour market.


Papers of particular interest, published within the annual period of review, have been highlighted as:

* of special interest
** of outstanding interest

Additional references related to this topic can also be found in the Current World Literature section in this issue (p. 550).

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