Jans, L., Stoddard, S., Kraus, L. (2004, Nov 09) Bridging perspectives of mental health and disability. Presented at the American Public Health Association 132nd Annual Meeting and Exposition hosted by American Public Health Association.
This paper presents national survey findings from the Chartbook on Mental Health and Disability, including prevalence, life cycle aspects of disability, and the resources, benefits and services designed to address the needs of people whose disabilities are due to mental disorders. These findings provide a bridge between the perspectives of the mental health field and the disability community. In any given year, about one-fifth of the U.S. population experiences a diagnosable mental disorder, according to the Surgeon General's 1999 report. However, not all people with a mental disorder have a disability. Disability results when a mental disorder causes a person to experience substantial limitations in important life activities. In many service systems, people whose disabilities are due to mental disorders constitute a substantial portion of the disability population. For example, 28% of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients and 36% of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients received payment based on a mental disorder. In the mental health field, much valuable research and clinical work has been devoted to identifying the prevalence as well as understanding and treating mental illness. However, less attention is paid to understanding this population from a disability perspective that focuses on the effect of the environment on the individual. In this paper we show how national survey findings, many of which were developed from a mental health system perspective, can be reframed from a disability perspective. This is especially useful for identifying and solving social and service system barriers to full participation.
- Participants will learn different definitions that have been used to identify people whose disability is caused by a mental disorder.
- Participants will be able to articulate features that distinguish the perspective of mental health researchers and the disability community.
- Participants will understand the usefulness of both perspectives in improving resources and services.
Keywords: Disability, Mental Health