The mental health management requires a collaborative effort by many health professionals (multidisciplinary approach) to reach a special goal; however, occupational therapy intervention plays vital roles in the mental health rehabilitation.
Occupational therapy improves the individuals’ quality and enjoyment of life by identifying and meeting appropriate behaviors and skills. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable clients’ attained maximum level of independent in all areas of occupational performance roles through occupations/activities. Occupation does not solely means work or pay job but it includes time spent on personal hygiene, preparing meals, managing finances, participating in community leisure courses and activities, socializing with others and many more. You can now see that if someone (clients/patients) could able to do the above mentioned activities independently post hospitalization as a result of psychiatric illness; proudly it is a great job of occupational therapist.
Occupational therapists enhance clients/patients ability to live meaningful and satisfying life. The purpose of occupational therapy can best be described by the profession’s motto which states, ‘’Occupational Therapy; living life to its fullest’’. Every individuals have equal right to live a meaning life independently without depend on anybody life. An occupational therapists help people consider not only their needs, strengths, abilities and interest but also their physical, social and cultural environment as a whole. Occupational therapist helps people with mental illness balance their occupational roles using various purposeful and graded meaningful activities. These activities are introduced to patients/clients to allow them regain lost skills or learn the new one. Occupational therapy intervention is holistic; the patients are treated as whole being not only what was diagnosed. When managing with mental ill individuals, occupational therapists employ varieties of assessments. Once the necessary information has been gathered, the therapists create personalized occupational profile for the patients/clients. This profile is used for goal setting and treatment planning. The followings are the area of assessment:
Activities of daily living (e.g. bathing, dressing, feeding e.t.c.)
Instrumental Activities of daily living (e.g driving, shopping, cooking e.t.c.)
Work (paid and volunteer)
Play and Leisure
Motor processing skills
Mental and cognitive skills
Communication and interaction skills.
Occupational therapy intervention is virtually important in mental health. The following are some common interventions:
Life skill trainings
Work hardening or and vocational trainings
Social and interpersonal skill trainings
In conclusion, modalities such as biofeedback and mindfulness enhanced therapy are highly considered. Occupational therapy service provides uniqueness theoretical and clinical contributions to the patients/clients rehabilitation and re-integration into the community. An occupational therapist ensures the independence of clients/patients in all areas of life such as activities of daily living, work and productivity, leisure and play, socialization and education.
Written by Salawu Olalekan Waliyilahi (COTA)