Occupational Therapy Mental Health Interventions


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Occupational Therapy Evaluation And Goal Setting

Reflecting on the practical challenges and realities of occupational therapy intervention research

Doug began the occupational therapy evaluation by administering the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure to determine Rosas strengths and challenges in occupational performance and complete her occupational profile . Doug learned that Rosas roles include sister and participant in an ACT program. Rosa reported wishing to live in an independent apartment but acknowledged needing assistance from supported housing staff. She reported not socializing with any other residents. With assistance from local vocational rehabilitation services, she worked briefly in several cleaning jobs. Rosa described leaving these jobs because of difficulty with supervisors and coworkers, but she was unable to be more specific about her work challenges. During the COPM assessment, Rosa shared being very dissatisfied with her social participation and unemployment. Rosa voiced wanting to have friends to connect with and find a job that she could do for many years.

Individual Needs Differ In Preferred Mode Of Telehealth

The data indicated that participants could not agree or identified if there was one preferred mode of telehealth, whether via telephone, video calls or just text messages. One participant had used telephone calls with his occupational therapist and found this mode of telehealth supportive:

Other people would prefer the video calls but I just like the telephone, I think the telephone is enough.

This person had found video calls difficult:

In zoom calls, yeah, its totally different, I dont know it didnt really suit me yeah I just wouldnt really be comfortable with that.

Other participants had found video calls more helpful than telephone calls. Participants reported less distractions on video calls and reported having a face onscreen was more personable.

Like definitely the phone is incredibly hard to do anything, I dont know if thats my own personal experience.

No, Im the same, when youre on the phone you could be watching telly, you could be looking at fruit, youre not there like.

Helping Patients Enjoy Life To The Fullest

Our occupational therapists are trained to identify difficulties in performing daily activities. They help address these underlying problems through the activities listed above. Our team can work with patients and their loved ones to improve these and other life management skills:

  • Creating and following a productive daily schedule
  • Taking care of personal hygiene
  • Managing ones own health
  • Navigating the community and using public transportation
  • Organizing and following a medication regimen
  • Interacting appropriately in work or social situations
  • Working or volunteering
  • Planning and cooking healthy meals
  • Managing budget and finances

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How Do You Typically React Under Pressure Or In A Crisis Situation

This gives employers a good sense of how you may respond to problems of any nature. Oftentimes, entry-level clinicians will not have experience with mental health crises. This does not usually pose a problem for employers. However, some clinicians are coming from alternate careers where they may have had human services or direct care roles of another nature. It is always a good idea to give an employer a good sense of how comfortable you are starting off in certain situations. No matter your comfort level, it is best practice for a facility to give adequate training and support before sending a new therapist into such a setting.

Origins Of Occupational Therapy

Mental Health Occupational Therapy Interventions

While many commonly think of occupational therapy as physical rehabilitation after injury or illness, it actually has roots in mental health.

Occupational therapys emergence can be found as far back as eighteenth-century Europe. At a time when mentally ill people were treated like prisoners, a moral treatment movement began to evolve. While the previous treatment model was associated with punishment, brutality and idleness, the moral treatment movement sought to encourage kindness and the therapeutic value of engagement in purposeful activities.

The first occupational therapy treatment model, called Habit Training, began at Johns Hopkins in the early twentieth century. This approach proposed that in mentally ill people, occupational activities such as work, rest and play had become unbalanced. Early occupational therapists introduced therapeutic occupations such as weaving, art, and bookbinding. These goal-directed activities were used to help individuals learn new skills to be productive, and derive therapeutic benefits of a balanced daily schedule.

The occupational therapy profession grew as wounded soldiers returned from World War II, and then surged again in the 1970s with the medical fields increase in specialized skills and knowledge.

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History Of Occupational Therapy In Mental Health

The profession of occupational therapy itself has a rich history influenced by historical events and movements from wars to economic shifts to health care legislation to technologies and civil rights movements for children, women, and mental health.

Moral treatment was often associated with mental illness.and spread to the united states with themes of opportunity, participation, and dignity. This movement was based on the idea that those with psychiatric disorders to be treated humanely with regard to their environment as well as actual treatment. Interventions for those with mental illness saw a shift to promote the use of arts and crafts and curative occupations. This new movement was a reaction to the industrialization and modernization of society in the 1900s.Christiansen, C. H., & Haertl, K. . A contextual history of occupational therapy. Willard and Spackmans occupational therapy, 9-34.

Occupational therapy was considered to be one of the most valued services for people with mental health disorders in the period of World War I and II, such as wounded soldiers and for those with psychiatric disorders.

You Have A Patient Who Is Not Motivated For Any Therapy And Openly Refuses Most Therapist Interactions They Do Not Leave Their Room They Keep The Blinds Closed And They Yell At Anyone Who Opens His Door Or Turns The Lights On What Would Be Your First Encounter With This Patient

Case situations such as this one are common in most therapy interviews. This gives employers a sense of your communication style, along with your therapeutic skills. There is typically no correct answer here, rather it serves as a good way to identify whether your work would align with that of the rehab team.

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Consideration Of The Human Connection

The human connection in the findings highlighted the issues around rapport during telehealth. Participants voiced concerns about the negative effect telehealth can have on the development of therapeutic rapport. It was highlighted that therapeutic rapport needs to be established initially in person prior to intervention via telehealth.

Its obviously more personal and more hands on when you have a meeting like that , but I thought the zoom call was grand like.

Personally I dont think there is anything that you or I or anyone can do to replace that human contact, that face-to-face contact. Its a very different interaction between screens, its not human.

Moreover, participants highlighted the importance of initiating and building rapport through in-person contact. Data indicated this was an important factor in the level of rapport. One participant suggested that had they not had that initial face-to-face contact, it would be like:

Some stranger popped up and Zoom and, Id be like, eugh, I wouldnt trust them at all.

As well as difficulty building rapport, one participant stated that they had shorter attention spans during telehealth sessions due to the lack of human connection.

I found myself constantly distracted by the glare of the screen

Occupational Therapists And Mental Health And Wellness

Occupational therapy and bipolar disorder – Matt’s story

An occupational therapist assesses each client holistically. For each client, they will consider various factors such as:

  • Values, beliefs, spirituality, mental function, sensory function, etc.
  • Performance skills
  • Environment or context
  • Performance patterns

Your occupational therapist will work with you to promote, establish , maintain, or modify tasks to help you participate fully in your daily life. Furthermore, occupational therapists will seek to prevent potential barriers to participation in desired activities.

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Discharge Planning As An Ot

In each setting, discharge planning is a collaborative effort among multiple disciplines. Each practitioner provides discharge planning efforts according to their scope of practice. Occupational therapists can assist in connecting clients with community resources, either per the patients request or a doctors referral. Occupational therapists can complete some case management roles at some facilities, making these planning efforts part of their job description.

Other occupational therapists can provide educational materials for discharge, home safety assessments, assistive technology or durable medical equipment recommendations, and ADL recommendations. All of these tasks are typical of a therapists role however, some may be completed in higher frequency depending on the acuity of the patients and the expectations of the department. If you are the sole occupational therapist in a mental health unit your job duties can be a diverse combination of all these tasks.

What Is Your Experience With Group Therapy What Topics Are You Most Comfortable Covering In A Group Format

Some occupational therapy programs have a heavier concentration of mental health coursework and training in groups than others do. Less targeted training in mental health does not necessarily make a new occupational therapist less suited for a job in mental health. Your answers to this question in combination with your comfort level in crisis situations may determine your overall ability to thrive in a mental health setting. However, if you express your willingness to learn and highlight the skills you possess which would make you a good fit for the job, employers are likely to respond positively.

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Whats Happening In Mental Health For Occupational Therapy

Congress Shows it Values Occupational Therapys Role in Mental Health

On October 26, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a legislative hearing on seven bills related to supporting patients, caregivers, and providers. Dr. Victoria Garcia Wilburn, DHSc, OTR, FAOTA, a member of the AOTA Board of Directors, testified at this hearing in support of H.R. 3320, the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act. The same hearing also saw H.R. 5583, the Helping Enable Access to Lifesaving Services Act come up for debate.

The HEALS Act would reauthorize several programs intended on strengthening the health care workforce, including the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program .

Communication & Social Skills

Example of an Intervention Plan (lg)

OTs may use groups to implement strategies such as social skills training, problem solving training, responsive skills training, conflict management, assertiveness training, and more. This may use peer support, group intervention, and role modeling to learn social and interpersonal skills. Some of the skills that OTs may work on include social interaction skills such as places self, turns towards, speaks fluently, touches, regulates, transitions, times response, matches language, takes turns, empathizes, etc.

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Psychiatric Evaluations That Ots Should Know

The evaluation process for psychiatric patients typically includes longer interview assessments, along with those based on the concept of the Model of Human Occupation . Some common assessment tools include:

  • meal preparation and nutrition
  • self-care tasks/ADLs

Group therapy can be conducted through didactic educational materials, group discussions, group activities, or skill-based training. The specific elements of the therapy are largely dependent on facility resources and safety regulations in place. There are typically strict regulations for safety on inpatient mental health units, as these are often locked units. However, therapists in outpatient or community-based mental health centers have more freedom to take patients on outings or complete groups in social settings.

A mix of any of the aforementioned treatments can be indicated for any psychiatric diagnosis. This is to be determined after screening or evaluating the patient, determining their level of impairment, completing an occupational profile, and developing goals with the patient.

Developing Habits That Are Important To You

Habit training was the first occupational therapy treatment model. It was introduced by Eleanor Clarke Slagle, with input from psychiatrist Adolf Meyer, when both worked at Johns Hopkins in the early 1900s. Habit training focuses on balancing activities in the areas of work, rest and play, which can be unbalanced in people with mental health disorders. When occupational therapy was fairly new, habit training was heavily focused on arts and crafts. Now, our updated approach emphasizes meaningful activities rooted in independent living and quality of life.

Request an appointment with one of our mental health occupational therapy experts to discuss how we can help you or your loved one.

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Why Would A Patient Be Admitted

Chronic mental health conditions are not a reason for admission to a long-term or short-term inpatient mental health unit. For example, a diagnosis of schizophreniaif being managed with medications and therapies in the communitydoes not warrant hospitalization. Hospitalizations are for patients who are experiencing an acute crisis due to an exacerbation of their mental health symptoms. These crises typically fall under three categories:

  • danger to others
  • gravely disabled

Any diagnosis can fall under any or all of these categories, as this will vary from one individual to another and even from one hospital to another.

What You Can Expect From A Mental Health Occupational Therapist

Careers | Occupational Therapy, Mental Health

Many people think of occupational therapy as applicable to pediatric services or physical rehabilitation. So they are often surprised to find occupational therapists working in mental health environments. So if you, a relative, or a friend is seeing a mental health occupational therapist, then keep reading to learn about how they can help you.

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Occupational Therapy In Mental Health: An Overview Of 6 Typical Settings

Unless you have a background in addressing mental illness, its common for occupational therapists to find the mental health field to be an intimidating realm of treatment, especially for US-based OTs.

Those with a lack of familiarity with mental health as a whole tend to immediately concentrate only on the abnormally aggressive behaviors, while ignoring the wider range of dysfunction that plagues a large portion of the adult population worldwide.

It is important to acknowledge that there appears to be an aversion to working with mental health patients. One particular study showed that the majority of 108 occupational therapy students surveyed preferred to work with patients who were gainfully employed, middle-aged female clients with physical disabilities and no history of aggressive behavior.

A separate but more encouraging study showed that OT students attitudes change for the better with more efficient tutorials and exposure to mental illness via fieldwork experience. When OTs attitudes shifted, they were able to focus on interventions and help their patients with mental illness.

So for this article, we will provide you with the occupational therapy mental health setting basics, including exploring six settings where OTs provide mental health treatment and can gain experience in this important population.

Strengths And Limitations Of This Study

  • There is little evidence regarding occupational therapy intervention in severe mental illness.

  • We gave a detailed description of four types of occupational therapy intervention in severe mental illness.

  • We conducted a peer-reviewed database search to ensure comprehensiveness.

  • We did not assess the quality of the studies included.

  • We did not include studies on addiction, anxiety or eating disorders.

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The History Of Occupational Therapy In Mental Health

Occupational therapy has its origins in mental health. At one point, the majority of OTs worked in mental health settings. In the past decade, the number of OTs in the United States working in mental health has dropped.

However, new shifts in mental health care delivery may be opening the door for more OTs to re-enter this field.

Occupational Therapy Interventions For Adults Living With Serious Mental Illness

Treatment Planning for Occupational Therapist Practitioners

Elizabeth Griffin Lannigan, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA,Susan Noyes, PhD, OTR/L,

Elizabeth Griffin Lannigan, Susan Noyes Occupational Therapy Interventions for Adults Living With Serious Mental Illness. Am J Occup Ther September/October 2019, Vol. 73, 7305395010p17305395010p5. doi:

Occupational therapy practitioners have education, skills, and knowledge to provide occupational therapy interventions for adults living with serious mental illness. Evidence-based interventions demonstrate that occupational therapy practitioners can enable this population to engage in meaningful occupations, participate in community living, and contribute to society. Systematic review findings for occupational therapy interventions for adults living with serious mental illness were published in the September/October 2018 issue of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and in the Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Adults Living With Serious Mental Illness. Each article in the Evidence Connection series summarizes evidence from the published reviews on a given topic and presents an application of the evidence to a related clinical case. These articles illustrate how research evidence from the reviews can be used to inform and guide clinical decision making. Through a case story, this article illustrates how current evidence is applied for effective occupational therapy intervention with an adult living with serious mental illness.

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Ot In Mental Health Lab

As you may be able to tell, groups are a huge part of mental health intervention. Thatâs why every student in my class had to design, plan and lead an OT group for the lab component of our OT in Mental Health course. The group that I led was called âDefeating Self-Doubtâ and you can read more about it here! Here are the groups that some of my classmates led:

S For Motivation By Amanda G Ot/s

Amanda really utilized her art therapy background for this group! She brought in tons of art supplies and had each of us create a motivational poster to keep as a reminder for when we need a little motivation. She brought in motivational quotes and had us each choose a few that spoke to us. We each then added our personal spin on it to work for us. I chose to write a few quotes on mine as well as some goals that I have for my future to serve as reminders for why I am pursuing my OTD. Learn more about Amanda in her OT Feature!

All of the supplies that she brought in!My motivational posterPosters made by my group

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