Invited Perspective| Volume 29, ISSUE 10, P1033-1037, October 2021

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Participation of Older Persons With Mental Health Conditions and Psychosocial Disabilities in the Labor Market


      • What is the primary question addressed by this study This paper examines facilitators and barriers to exercising the right to work and access to the labor market among older people with mental health conditions and/or psychosocial disabilities.
      • What is the main finding of this study? Barriers which prevent older people with mental health conditions and/or psychosocial disabilities from participating in the workforce are in the form of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. There are effective interventions to tackle these barriers at the organizational, state and international levels.
      • What is the meaning of the finding?—A UN convention for the rights of older people is needed in order to better address the intersection between advanced age, mental health conditions and/or psychosocial disabilities in the workforce.


      This paper discusses the right to work as a basic human right that should be granted unrelated to chronological age, health or mental health status and disability including declining cognitive functioning. The benefits of continued employment are both at the individual level and at the organizational and societal levels. Nonetheless, there are multiple barriers that prevent older people and particularly older people with mental conditions and psychosocial disabilities from remaining in the workforce and/or from rejoining the workforce. We outline interventions at the organizational, national, and international levels to ensure the full participation of people of all ages and abilities in the workforce. Such interventions should address the intersection between disabilities and advanced age at the global, regional, and country levels.

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