Work and social contacts
The patient in remission may take a job, appropriate to his/her education and skills and be a valuable worker. The patient may also continue the broken studies, gain education and occupational skills. Unfortunately, the majority of patients loose their employment with disease progression.
Data presented in the Schizophrenia Report. Social perspectives indicate that 46% of patients in a studied group worked at the time of diagnosis, while later on, almost 3/4 of them lost employment in the course of disease. The percent of persons who lost their job grew up with the rising number of hospitalisations.
Among the patients with five and more hospitalisations, more than 90% of working patients lost their job, while almost a half of the patients with a lower number of hospitalisations remained employed. It appears from the White Book, published in 2011, that the majority of patients with schizophrenia receive disability benefits.
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Only approx. 2% of the patients are occupationally active on a full-time basis, while an effective return to normal social and occupational life is an optimal way of recovery for schizophrenic patients.
Recently, a number of initiatives are undertaken for occupational activation of patients. A good example may be the programme, carried out by the "Żyjmy Zdrowo Powrót do społeczeństwa" (Let us live healthy life. A return to society). Return to Work Return to Health". The assumption of the project was a development of collaboration method among patients, work trainers and employers.
The Programme was also to familiarise the employers with issues of mental disorders, demonstrate schizophrenic persons as valuable workers and overthrowing the negative myths, associated with perception of mentally ill persons and disabled to work. One of the goals of the programme was proving that under properly profiled and complex support, tailored to individual needs, a person with mental disorder may become a fully valuable worker and participant of the labour market.