Occupational therapists work in many of our adult mental health program services, including, inpatient units, rehabilitation units, community mental health teams, drug and alcohol services, and dual disability services.
The primary goal of occupational therapists working in mental health is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life that they want to do, need to do, or are expected to do. They do this by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support the person’s ability to engage and perform desired occupations.
What does Occupational Therapy offer?
Occupational Therapists provide individual and group assessment and intervention. They work collaboratively with clients and their carers/family to develop and achieve occupational performance goals. These can include productivity, self-care, leisure and social aspects of people’s lives.
In particular, an occupational therapist specialising in mental health can help individuals to:
- better understand mental health and take an active part in their wellness
- develop skills to live more independently in the community
- deal with life change, stress and emotions more easily
- feel better about themselves
- improve personal relationships
- develop hobbies and interests
- return to or start work
- link in with community groups and agencies.
Occupational therapists use meaningful occupation to facilitate, enhance & maintain a person’s physical, affective, cognitive, spiritual, psychological & social functioning. They do this by developing individualised and graded rehabilitation programs, prescribing graded activities and tasks, to help clients learn various living skills and occupations that are important to them. Examples of occupations include:
- making and keeping appointments
- leisure pursuits
Occupational therapists also work closely and collaboratively with other health professionals, such as, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, speech pathologists, exercise physiologists, GPs, nurses and peer workers.