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Word Count: 12,114
The debate rages regarding a commonly accepted definition of mental illness Whilst important the diagnostic tools or assessment methods for establishing if someone suffers from poor mental health are not be the focus of this critical review Every society has conflicted attitudes towards mental health problems Cultural prejudices and stereotypes are gradually diminishing but the stigma of mental illness is still one of the great unspoken taboos of the 21st Century In this critical review the researcher explores the many challenges faced by people who identify as having mental health issues A rapid review of scholarly and academic sources was conducted to establish what evidence exists of the progress made in global efforts to raise awareness of mental health and the stigma attached to mental illness For the most part the findings were not promising Advanced economies have implemented policies and resources have been dedicated to improving social attitudes towards the mentally ill but the indicators for progress in the actual living conditions of people with mental disorders hereinafter referred to as PWMD remains well below that of other citizens In both developed and developing regions PWMD generally fall into the lowest stratum of society partially because the proportion of GDP invested in their well-being is negligibleEmployment is identified as one of the main barriers to social inclusion for PWMD There have been efforts to rectify this through policies and legislation but the results remain disappointing In this critical review models of successful employment strategies were reviewed and appraised The possibility of the social enterprise offering a sustainable and supportive business environment that provides employment and job placement for PWMD was evaluated using examples of both local and global accounts of similar initiativesThe researcher considered the advantages and risks associated with employing PWMD and the importance of consulting with this consumer group directly before launching any interventions The limitations of this research included the need for additional data about PWMD and their employment needs
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