TYLER (KYTX)-A new study shows 80 percent of people with mental illness are unemployed.
The National Association on Mental Illness says two out of three people with mental illness can successfully hold down a job and sixty percent want to work.
There's a program to help those with mental illness find jobs.
It's called supported employment and many mental health organizations across the country take part to help those in need.
But some people with mental illness think it's a blessing in disguise.
Gloria Dossett is soon to have her doctorate and has a part-time job.
"I am a person with a mental illness, I have chronic depression and it's run in my family for generations," Dossett said.
For the first time in her life, she has felt comfortable enough to tell her employer about her illness.
"A lot of people think that if you have some sort of mental illness that you might be dangerous or unstable or not a good influence particularly around young people so I have not ever claimed a disability or revealed a disability to an employer for that reason," Dossett said.
Dossett works for the East Texas Center for Independent Living, an organization that helps people with disabilities. Dossett's co-worker Linda Smith works with the supported employment program helping people with mental illness find a job.
"I get my consumers through doors, my referrals and I assist them with job placement, application training, any skills that they need for job placement," Smith said.
Smith says the hardest thing is convincing employers to not be afraid of those with mental illness.
"They are people too and they are human. They want jobs, they want to work. That self worth when you have somewhere to go that day, somewhere to be that helps make you feel so much better," Smith said.
Dossett agrees that having a job has changed her life. She says working has showed her how her depression is a blessing in disguise.
"Frankly I would not give up my mental health concerns because they are a large part of my personality," Dossett said.
Dossett says depression has showed her a different way to look at things making her very compassionate.
I do have a capacity of seeing other people's viewpoints because I'm used to thinking of myself just a little bit as the other, the outside person looking it and that's extremely beneficial in my career," Dossett said.