Work or other meaningful activity is an essential component of recovery. That’s why I applaud the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) for focusing on mental health in the workplace on World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2017. In conjunction with the event, the WFMH released a comprehensive report looking at the issue from the perspective of workers, employers, and the world economy. Supporting people in entering or remaining in the workforce boosts the economy and reduces societal costs, and helps people maintain recovery.
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Each day, millions of Americans with chronic conditions—mental illness, addictions, diabetes, asthma, and many more—go to work. In fact, 15% of adults who are employed full-time and 20% who are employed part-time experienced mental illness in the past year. Sometimes people with mental health conditions—like those with physical health conditions—need time off from work to cope with heightened symptoms or seek treatment.