The benefits of educational attainment are clear and widely recognized. People with better educations have access to better jobs, and earn more over the course of their lives. They also develop careers, and benefit from the sense of purpose and direction that accompany a life of meaningful work.
For people with mental health conditions, the benefits of higher education are no less essential, but they can be more difficult to attain. Not only are there barriers in terms of finding a campus that will provide the necessary accommodations and supports, but there are also the significant financial barriers to higher education that all students encounter. Ironically, these financial barriers can prevent people with mental health conditions, who as a group are under-employed and less wealthy than average, from accessing career fields that would lead to increased lifetime earnings.
In the latest Focus newsletter, a mental health consumer from Alabama shares his personal experience and perspective on the need to make higher education more accessible for students with mental health needs.