It is well known that Occupational Therapists (OT) work with the elderly to improve quality of life and help maintain independence. It is also well known that OTs work with children to facilitate play and engagement in school and learning. In fact, it is well known that OTs work with people across their lifespan following an injury or illness and enable people to engage in their activities of daily living.
However, it appears that what is less well known, even in the world of health professionals, is the vital role that OTs are qualified to perform to assist people with mental health conditions. Universities offering courses in Occupational Therapy focus half their curriculum on mental health and how OTs can assist people to re-establish roles and engage in all aspects of their activities of daily living. When considering mental health, there are some key areas where OTs are able to use their unique skills to provide interventions and achieve successful outcomes. These include:
- developing goals
- identifying strengths and barriers
- grading exposure to and participation in activities
- supporting community access
- facilitating the development of a range of skills (for example, time management)
- helping people establish habits and routines and
- enabling people to engage in meaningful occupations.
When you consider each of these areas of intervention, and an OT’s skills in analysing tasks and occupations, the direct impact OTs can have on improving a person’s mental health and wellbeing is not only essential, but exciting!
P2 Group Occupational Therapists are well skilled to assist workers with both physical injuries/illnesses and mental health conditions. Unfortunately, we often see that with one form of injury/ illness comes the other, so it is vital that when we assess a worker we take a holistic approach, considering both their physical and mental health. P2 Group have assisted many people with a mental health condition to increase their capacity, empower them to take control of their health and wellbeing and remain engaged in the workplace by collaborating with them and their employer to develop appropriate supports and deliver education as required.
At P2 Group we consider a supportive workplace to be the best place for someone with a mental health condition because it provides them with meaningful use of their time, structure to their day and enhances quality of life. It’s a great outcome for individuals and employers who are able to retain loyal staff.