Career Development And Individuals With Serious Mental Illness
Late adolescence and early adulthood are the stages at which individuals are vulnerable to the onset of SMI, which can result in social and vocational deficits that limit career decision making experiences and opportunities (Browne & Waghorn, 2010; Gewurtz, Kirsh, Jacobson, & Rappolt, & 2006; Jones et al., 2006; Tschopp, Bishop, & Mulvihill, 2001).
For most individuals with a SMI, the onset is often gradual over a period of several years, as opposed to becoming full blown over a short time (O’Day, Killeen, & Goldberg, 2006). Similar to others in the general population, individuals with a SMI display a variety of career patterns, characterized by variable levels of education, skills, employment histories, career aspirations, and career mobility (O’Day et al., 2006). Often those with SMI experience declines in performance, hours worked and income earned when symptoms emerge (Botterbush, 2000; McCrohan, Mowbray, Bybee, & Harris, 1994).
Prior to their first psychotic episode, individuals with late onset and their family members often expressed concerns about their behaviour at work, and connected this to illness onset after the fact (Woodside & Krupa, 2010). Upon return to work, these individuals placed priority on their health, making adjustments to established careers by reducing work hours, making life adjustments due to reduced incomes, moving to less skilled positions, or retraining for new work roles (Woodside…