What being an Occupational Therapist means to me

As part of Occupational Therapy Week 2017, we have been asking some of our 167 occupational therapy staff what being an OT means to them.

Meet Victoria Bayes, she is a Senior Occupational Therapist at St Andrew's Healthcare, and is proud to help people with mental illness overcome the obstacles which are preventing them from doing the activities that matter to them.

Read more: We're proud to support #OTWeek2017 - click here for more information

I am an occupational therapist and today I…

“I escorted a group of women from a medium secure treatment ward into the community to visit a dog rehoming centre.

“They developed their planning skills, identifying that they would like to use their community leisure group session to visit a rehoming centre, contacted family to look up details of local centres and arranged their finances for the day.

“When on the outing, the ladies interacted safely and appropriately with the dogs and interacted pleasantly with staff at the rehoming centre. They talked about their past experiences of owning and looking after dogs, sharing these with each other.

“They also appeared to enjoy the more rural setting and spoke about how visiting a rehoming centre is something they could do when living in the community. It was so valuable to see the ladies using their skills to plan something of significance to them and to be motivated to carry it out.

“Promoting meaningful occupations and providing hope for the future was the main aim of this intervention, developing skills used within activity in the process. 

What does Occupational Therapy mean to me?

“How you occupy your time with activities that you enjoy or need to do shapes so many of our identities. We call these activities occupations.

“When meeting new people they often ask, ‘so what do you do?’ Our occupations are often what motivate us, provide us with satisfaction and encourage belonging.

“As Occupational Therapists we believe that occupations are linked to health and wellbeing. They help us in good times and bad times but ultimately become part of who we are.

“For this reason, we use these occupations as treatment for our ladies at St Andrew’s Healthcare to help support their mental health, promote recovery and ultimately to help them to lead fulfilling and enriching lives.”

Join in the conversation on social media using #OTWeek2017 - be loud and proud about Occupational Therapy.

Careers: Read more about our career opportunities in Occupational Therapy