The particularities of occupational therapy in mental health

A mental health problem can often interfere with the person’s ability to carry out the activities that are important to him or her and to fully engage in the various spheres of life. At this point, the occupational therapist can play a role in guiding, equipping and supporting the person in recovering his various roles to regain more satisfaction in everyday life and eventually feel better.

How does the occupational therapy session in mental health work out?

The mental health occupational therapy begins with an evaluation meeting. During this meeting, the occupational therapist conducts an interview with the client and uses various tests and questionnaires that will allow him, among other things, to document how the person functions in the various spheres of his life and the importance giving to it. Thereafter, a treatment plan is established with the person, objectives are set and follow-ups are determined. Since meetings in occupational therapy focus on the person’s daily life and specific tools are put in place to improve functioning, positive changes are often observed by the client, after a few meetings (4 to 8, in general).

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Occupational therapy in mental health paired with other approaches

Occupational therapy in mental health can be combined with other approaches, such as psychological follow-ups or kinesiology training sessions. With the consent of the person, the occupational therapist will work with other professionals involved with the client, to form a team and help the individual feel better, as quickly as possible.


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During meetings with the occupational therapist, different modalities may be used such as:

  • educational interventions on the nature of the problem that the person is suffering from and the effective means of dealing with it (according to the most recent scientific evidence);
  • follow-ups on the person’s occupational schedule with weekly goal setting;
  • a walking routine and / or follow-up on physical activities;
  • coaching about good sleep habits;
  • follow-up on the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits;
  • advice on stress management;
  • tips on how to optimize memory and concentration;
  • simulations of functional and work tasks, etc.

At the appropriate time, the occupational therapist can also suggest a returning to work progressive plan, adapted to the person’s abilities and accompany him to his work place, if necessary. A follow-up for the returning to work can also be done to support the person in his approach and help him find solutions to the difficulties encountered, if any.

Reasons to consult

Several issues can be helped by mental health occupational therapy including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Post traumatic stress
  • Personality disorders
  • Bipolar disease
  • Burnout
  • Etc.

Do not hesitate to contact our team of occupational therapists to learn more about occupational therapy in mental health.


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