OT Clinical Services

Mental Health Awareness Month

Occupational Therapy is a profession that assists people throughout their lifetime and believes that participation in daily activities (aka occupations) is vital to mental health and well-being.

Your Washington University Occupational Therapist may help you utilize familiar activities as coping mechanisms, such as listening to music, playing cards, writing, doodling, cooking, or cleaning to help provide calming or grounding strategies.

OTs are also well versed in sensory strategies. A person’s sensory system helps process information from the environment. For individuals with mental health conditions, their ability to process this information may be compromised, which can cause the patient to feel upset and not safe.

One important qualification that sets occupational therapists apart from other qualified mental health professionals is their background in physical rehabilitation. Mental health issues are often accompanied by issues of physical health. In a mental health setting, you may find an OT addressing general strengthening, adjusting wheelchairs, recommending adaptive equipment, or any other task that is within the scope of practice in the field of occupational therapy.

Ultimately, your Washington University OT will work to assist you in participating in daily activities. If your condition is keeping you from being able to participate in daily activities, speak to your occupational therapist about your concerns. If they do not have the tools to assure that your needs are being met, they can serve as a resource in getting you the necessary help. Learn more about our self-management services.