Today (Monday 6 November) marks the start of Occupational Therapy Week 2017 (#OTWeek2017) and we’ll be shining a light on the great work of our OT team, and the benefits occupational therapy has for the people in our care.
Promoted by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, OT Week aims to raise the profile of the profession which supports people to ‘live life their way’ despite any health or care needs they may be living with.
Across St Andrew’s, our 167 occupational therapy staff help people with mental illness to overcome the obstacles which are preventing them from doing the activities (or ‘occupations’) that matter to them. The support our occupational therapists provide greatly increases our patients’ sense of purpose, promotes independence and encourages satisfaction in all aspects of their life and recovery.
Starting today and running until 12 November, the theme of Occupational Therapy Week 2017 is “I am an occupational therapist”, building on the Royal College of Occupational Therapists’ call for its members to be ‘loud and proud’ of the value they add to the lives of patients every week.
Mike Adams, Head of Occupational Therapy at St Andrew’s Healthcare, explained: “I’m proud to call myself an occupational therapist.
“To help people understand who they are as occupational beings – what is meaningful, valuable and important to them, and everything they do, want to become, contribute to, belong to and even what they enjoy being – and then to support them in recovering, or in some cases building their occupational identity, is a fantastic job to have.
“As an Occupational Therapist I am able to work with people to identify the things that prevent them fulfilling their potential in life. We refer to the things that get in the way of this as ‘occupational injustices’, such as being marginalised because of a diagnosis, or experiencing alienation due to a lack of strong social connections.
“We build a range of therapeutic interventions to overcome this, focusing on key aspects of a person’s life, such as work opportunities to build a sense of belonging and connectedness. We use activities that hold meaning, value and/or significance to an individual to draw out and develop key skills, such as problem solving, processing, communication, motor skills.
“By being so naturally person centred, and getting to the route of what makes a person ‘tick’, occupational therapy is effective in motivating people, and generating interest and enthusiasm in life.”
Join in the conversation on social media by using #OTWeek2017 - be loud and proud about Occupational Therapy.