Monday, September 15, 2014

Helping people with mental illness into the workforce

How can we encourage people on disability support pensions to work more while not hitting them with the big mean stick of loss of income support? Here's an opinion piece I've written on this question.

Please feel free to comment and share!


  1. This is an interesting article, which I am glad to have read. It taught me a lot that I had never apprehended before.

    I write as a 52-year-old single male - living in Victoria, as Adrienne McGill herself does, I believe - who is on a DSP (OCD and panic attacks in my case) while frantically attempting to hold down a casual job which is regularly repellent and, in terms of hours, utterly unpredictable. Quite often there will be no work available for me, or others, at all. I loathe the very idea of taking money from the government (it goes against everything I believe in) but, given the episodic nature of both my illness and other income sources, it seems inevitable.

    What's more, this article's statement that "even perfectly fit older people face age discrimination, regardless of the range of skills they offer" is something to which I, and quite a few others of my age whom I know, can testify. 'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis, 'tis true.

    I am glad to have stumbled, by pure accident, upon this website (while Googling "OCD" and "Melbourne"). And I have signed up to receive updates from it. Thank you.

  2. Hi RJ,

    Great to hear from you. I've had a similar experience of casual work and now that I'm 'self-employed' there are many similarities. Unfortunately the mainstream media doesn't understand the stress of being part of the casual or self employed workforce, so we start to feel invisible. And it's true, as we get older, the 'discrimination' thing starts to creep up. This isn't good for mental health and can be a vicious circle.

    I'd like to see it tackled at the work level, by making jobs more people-friendly -- not punishing people by making them search for jobs that don't exist ...

    Thanks again for writing and keep well :)