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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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The essential elements of well-being and health include an adequate income from meaningful employment, healthful diet, comfortable and safe housing, and good health. Well-being also includes being able to improve one's life through education and the building of good relationships. The absence of these elements is faced by people who have experienced mental illness, and thus, in addition to being challenged by the illness, they are also challenged by the social consequences. This article elaborated on these issues and the difficulties faced by people with mental illness. The authors state that the impact of poverty, homelessness, inadequate and unsafe housing, low quality or no physical health care, and lack of or interrupted education and unemployment on the lives of mental health consumers/survivors is incalculable. These social consequences are the "side effects" which result from the inadequate system of care for persons with mental illness. (Authors)