In most disability income support (DIS) programs, mental illnesses is the fastest growing category of illness, but it is unknown how policy designers consider this vulnerable group. Forty-five DIS policy designers in Australia and Ontario explained how they consider mental illnesses when designing policy. Using a grounded theory approach, five challenges emerged: validating duration, proving an illness, (un)differentiating mental illnesses, managing mental illnesses, and separating the person from the illness. Each challenge is described and compared across Australia and Ontario. These challenges provide a framework for other settings to determine how well their DIS policies have considered mental illnesses in policy design.
Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health, June 1, 2018