International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications
Title: Barriers to Employment for Persons with Serious Mental Illness in Malaysia
Author/s: Aaron Fernandez, Gayathri Vadivel, Muhammad Zairul Rezal Zainol Abidin
Employment is a universal human right enshrined in Article 23 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights which states that "Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment."
An inordinate amount of blame with respect to the high unemployment rates among people with serious mental illness (SMI) lie with them. Various beliefs include incompatibility of SMI and work i.e. that people with SMI are either unable or unwilling to work, and potential employers' concerns about productivity and human resource challenges when employing such persons may prevent them from doing so. There is currently a global shift in the practice of psychiatry away from an impairment-oriented model of psychiatric practice of towards an evidence-based recovery-orientated psychiatry (O'Hagan, M. 2001) (Brown and Kandirikirira, 2006).This paradigmatic shift is well publicized as the 'new' gold-standard at institutions of higher learning in Psychiatry as well as professional bodies governing the training of psychiatry. Recovery-orientated psychiatry is also being introduced in undergraduate as well as incorporated into postgraduate training programs (Higgins, 2008). It is now plainly understood that attaining remission is but a means to the end of achieving recovery in all its diverse forms.This book is an integrative review of the unique barriers to employment people with SMI in Malaysia face. This book is dedicated to all persons with SMI for whom gaining employment is an uphill task in no small measure due to the obstacles erected by the Medical Model of Disability and all mental health care workers who believe that employment among this population is tenable and indeed desirable and contribute to the pursuit of the same. If despite this knowledge mental health practitioners continue to be satisfied with mere remission and ignore important tangible parameters of recovery like employment, the mental health care system in Malaysia has failed in its duty towards persons with serious mental illnesses.