Did you know that depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States? How about that, compared to 75% of those without any mental illness, only about 55% of Americans with serious mental illnesses are employed? For these reasons, we wanted to explore the role of mental illness and disability in the U.S. economy, from both a mainstream as well as a solidaristic point of view.
For our project, we wrote a research paper analyzing (mainstream) economic understandings of mental illness and disability, current U.S. policies regarding the mentally ill and disabled, and potential alternate frameworks geared at incorporating these individuals into the economy through the use of various solidaristic principles. We did our best to apply what we learned both to our understanding of the United States as well as to Wellesley. We hope that our research prompts others to question conventional assumptions regarding productivity, human worth, and the role of caring communities in the economy.
Attached is our paper.
Incorporating Mental Ill and Disabled Individuals into the U.S. Economy Research Paper