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[ARTICLE] Meaningful Work and Recovery
Filed Under: Wellness | Published: Sep 8, 2016 | Author: Mental Health America

We all need some form of meaningful activity in our lives and a means of supporting ourselves, but having a mental health condition can be an obstacle. Mental health conditions impact different people in various ways. Some people with mental health conditions may never stop working; others find that their condition interrupts their career, and still others may be able to do only limited work.  As people recover from a mental health condition, they also face varied challenges in relation to work. Some people with mental health conditions find that they are able, with minor accommodations, to work in the same way they did before. Others may have to re-enter work gradually. And people on disability benefits will need to observe back-to-work rules when employed.

No matter your situation and no matter the hurdles you face, hold on to your goals for yourself and keep striving to incorporate meaningful activity into your life. In the past, people with mental illness were often discouraged from working, but today we understand that work is not only a possibility, but it can also play a vital role in recovery.

It's true, however, that having a mental health condition can pose some practical barriers to working, such as having breaks in your career, feeling unsure of yourself, or needing to ask for an accommodation such as time for doctors' appointments. You can figure out strategies to work around these barriers, often with the help of friends, mentors or an employment specialist.

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