The researchers noted, "Psychiatric diagnosis was not associated with participants' ability to sustain employment during the two years prior to entering the study. However, diagnosis was associated with participants' occupational status, the number of hours they worked per week, and the salary they earned per hour. On average, the group of participants who reported a diagnosis of bipolar disorder had a higher occupational status, worked more hours per week, and earned a higher salary per hour than the other diagnostic groups. At the same time, the group of participants who reported a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, on average, had a lower occupational status, worked fewer hours per week, and earned a lower salary per hour than the other diagnostic groups."
"The bottom line is that people with mental illness are able to sustain employment," Russinova said. "They can succeed both over time and by moving up in higher level positions. The other thing we found was the importance of education. It makes a difference in peoples' capacity to get and to sustain better jobs. People will do better if they acquire a better education prior to getting sick or acquire schooling through vocational rehabilitation programs."