Mental Health OT

The rise in mental health awareness over the last several years has highlighted the importance of the role that an occupational therapist plays in promoting positive mental health. An occupational therapist collaborates in a hands-on approach to develop effective strategies that build resilience and allow children and youth to participate in their activities of daily living.

How can occupational therapy help to promote positive mental health? Here’s how we can help:

  • stress/anxiety management
  • coping and self-regulation skills
  • goal planning
  • conflict resolution
  • job skills
  • daily routine, structure and planning
  • productivity
  • exploring and participating in leisure activities
  • financial planning & learning how to budget
  • the importance of occupational balance
  • increase self-esteem and confidence
  • understanding and managing medication
  • social skills
  • personal hygiene

Stress and anxiety can present in many different ways. Some of the signs and symptoms are highlighted below:

  • “my stomach hurts”
  • avoidance behaviors
  • increased heart rate
  • leaving a worksheet blank despite knowing the answers
  • poor sleep hygiene
  • nail biting, skin picking, lip biting
  • headaches
  • tight muscles
  • crying
  • quick or shallow breathing
  • racing thoughts
  • difficulty concentrating
  • increased perspiration
  • clenched fists
  • restlessness