Occupational Therapy in Mental Health
Occupational therapists’ approach to mental health is client-centered, and aims to ensure that you have all the abilities and strategies you need to return to your meaningful activities.
Occupational therapists approach mental health with a particular framework. People experience life through meaningful activities, at home, at work, at school and in their communities. Mental health issues prevents us from doing what we find most meaningful. They disrupt our ability to cope, maintain daily routines and perform at work.
Occupational therapists use a variety of methods to promote engagement in activities while considering the person (affective, cognitive, physical and spiritual), the occupations (self-care, productivity, and leisure) and the environment (cultural, social, institutional, and physical). Our client-centred approach allows the occupational therapist to bridge the gap between the debilitating effects of mental health and returning to meaningful activities. It is not only by being and understanding that mental health issues will improve, but rather by doing and participating in life.
What happens during an appointment?
During the first meeting (60-120 min), your occupational therapist will ask questions relating to your history with mental health issues and evaluate the impact of your current mental health issues on your ability to participate in daily activities (self-care, work, and leisure). In collaboration with your occupational therapist, a treatment plan with short and long term goals will be discussed.
During weekly treatment sessions (50 min), various goals are targeted.
Some examples include;
1. Identify, discuss and provide strategies to overcome unhelpful thinking patterns.
2. Developing routines and positive habits that support mental well-being
3. Identifying effective strategies to manage daily stress, work – life balance and develop resiliency
4. Develop coping strategies such as breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness techniques to help relaxation, improve concentration and attention span.
5. Facilitate the transition from worker readiness to re-integration back to work.
Did you know?
According to Health Canada, in any given year, one in five Canadians will experience a mental illness or substance use problem, and one in three will develop a mental illness or mental health issue sometime in their lifetime.
Mental illness and substance use disorders are leading causes of disability in Canada (Health Canada).
56% of struggling Canadians are not getting the mental health help they need (Health Canada). Occupational therapists are here to help you! Please do not hesitate to book an appointment.