Article 4.docx

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University of Guelph
Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 3090
Michelle Preyde

Article 4 - Poverty and Mental Illness Canadian Mental Health Association - Relationship between poverty and mental illness bi-directional o Those with mental illness often live in chronic poverty o Poverty can be a risk for those with poor mental health - Key to addressing poverty to promote and support mental health is understanding the broad context What is poverty? - Human Resources and Social Development Canada, Poverty Research Initiative: “poverty involves more than just income deprivation. It can also extend to (or result from) exclusion form essential goods and services, meaningful employment and decent earnings, adequate and affordable housing, safe neighbourhoods with public amenities, health and well-being, social networks, and basic human rights.” - People at risk include those with mental illness Why people with serious mental illness often drift into poverty - Stigma and discriminations may prevent from securing adequate education and employment - Those with serious mental illness are often unable to access community services and support o Exclusion results in social isolation, increasing risk of poverty being chronic - Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) insists that the following are vital to the recovery of persons with mental illness: - Income o 3x more likely to be poor and 4x more likely to be in need of social assistance o Social assistance primary source of income for many, often through Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works (OW) while waiting for approval for ODSP [1 in 3 ODSP recipients have serious mental illness] o ODSP insufficient for covering cost of basic necessities, and OW is half of that - Education o Lower level of education, most often b/c mental illness strikes in adolescence or early adulthood, the period of attaining formal education o Need to make supported education programs for adult learners more accessible so that educational goals can be achieved - Employment o Interruptions in career developments and long-term employment, especially b/c of cyclic nature of mental illness  30% of Ontarians with mental illness didn’t work in 2003 (underrepresentation b/c this doesn’t include those with psychosis) o Work can be essential to recovery, thus need for supported empl
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