Tuesday, May 20, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: It’s difficult enough to get a job these days, but if you have physical and especially mental disabilities, it can be even tougher.
Persons who have succumbed to depression or suicidal thoughts, or those with more straightforward disorders including dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia and others may be discarded despite their qualifications and experience.
The Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Unit aims to change that, beginning with a briefing for persons who work with mental patients to re-integrate them back into society.
Nurse Eleanor Bennett of the Mental Health Unit says that having a mental disability should not be a death sentence for a prospective job-seeker who may have unique perspectives to offer.
Constant rejection from employers may well exacerbate the patient’s anxiety and lead to them believing they are worthless and do not deserve to be recognized.
Tomorrow, the conference moves to San Ignacio where individuals with mental issues will be counseled through approaches to seeking jobs.
Facilitator for the conference is Carey-Ann Clarke of Disability Aid Abroad, a Northern Ireland charity established to change the lives of people with disabilities living in developing countries.
When the Supportive Employment Program is fully implemented it is expected that businesses will be approached for their cooperation.
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