ESRI/NDA report finds stigma continues to play role in social and employment exclusion


Today the ESRI and our partners at the NDA launched a new report on Understanding Emotional, Psychological and Mental Health disability in Ireland: Factors Facilitating Social Inclusion.

The authors highlighted 3 key policy implications:

  • “The overlap between EPMH disability and other types of disability highlights the need for an integrated approach to service delivery that takes account of the physical health needs of people with EPMH disability and takes account of the mental health needs of people with a physical disability.
  • Since many people with EPMH disability first experience the disability during their working years, retention in employment is important to their social inclusion. Services to both the employer and the person with a disability are needed to retain people with EPMH disability in employment.
  • Addressing stigma on the part of the general population – including employers and those providing public and private services – needs to remain on the agenda of mental health and disability policy. This issue needs to be addressed in a number of ways: through the education system; by means of general educational campaigns targeting adults; through training for those who deal with the public; through implementation of equality policies in organisations and through equality legislation to protect people with a disability from discrimination.”

The report used the data from the National Disability Survey 2006 to look at people with enduring emotional, psychological and mental health disability, and the extent to which those with this condition may have other forms of disability also. It highlighted the interlinkages between physical disability and mental ill-health, illustrating the importance of physical disability services supporting people in relation to mental health, and of mental health services linking in with supports for physical disability. People with mental health conditions are less likely to be currently working than the population at large but, most have worked in the past. The research highlighted stigma as a significant barrier for those with mental health conditions.

The research was funded by the National Disability Authority, and conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute – lead author Dorothy Watson.

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