Serious mental disorder in youth may have lasting impact on employment prospects: Study
Washington D.C.: Mental disorders experienced in adolescence or early adulthood that require hospital care are linked to low income, poor education, and unemployment over the life span of individuals, suggests a study.
The study published in the journal ‘Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica’ indicated that those who have been hospitalised due to a mental disorder before turning 25 have considerably poorer prospects on the labour market compared to the rest of the population. The risk of being absent from the labour market and not completing an upper secondary-level qualification or a higher degree is great.
“People suffering mental disorders drop out from the labour market for a wide range of reasons. However, opportunities for contributing to professional life and acquiring an education should already be taken into consideration at the early stages of treating serious mental disorders, provided the patient’s condition allows it,” stated Christian Hakulinen, a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Helsinki.
The employment rate was the lowest among individuals who were hospitalised for schizophrenia. Of them, less than 10 per cent were employed during the follow-up period of the study.
Less than half of the individuals hospitalised for mood disorders worked after the age of 25.
The earnings of people with serious mental disorders in their youth were quite low and did not improve later. More than half had no earnings over the follow-up period.
The extensive register-based study involved more than 2 million individuals living in Finland between 1988 and 2015, who were monitored between 25 and 52 years of age.