Brookwood Baptist Health Blog

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Occupational Therapy Enables Individuals To Participate In Everyday Activities

May 8, 2019

Occupational therapy practitioners enable individuals to participate in the everyday occupations (activities) they value as independently as possible. We assist individuals in determining their priorities and goals; we analyze the person, their environment and their occupation and, with the client, develop a plan to help them reach their goals.

This article was written by Cheryl Fluker (left), who has served Brookwood for over 25 years and Laura Dunham (right), who is a part-time OT, and is one of Cheryl's students.

Occupational therapy (OT) has its roots in mental health.   Early occupational therapy practitioners understood the value of healthy habits and routines in the treatment of individuals with mental illness. OTs look at each individual holistically and practically to help them understand the importance of healthy occupations and roles to their overall health and wellness.                                                     

Occupational therapy practitioners believe that all individuals have an inherent desire to engage in meaningful and purposeful occupations. Occupational therapy practitioners take into account the physical and the mental health of individuals, the environment, sensory processing and cognition when assisting clients in determining why an occupation is challenging.  The ability of individuals to engage in occupations directly impacts their health, wellness and recovery.

A few examples of occupational therapy interventions in the mental health setting are:

  • Assisting individuals in establishing healthy habits in order to support successful medication management routines.
  • Identifying individual barriers to sleep and assisting in establishing healthy habits for successful sleep routines.
  • Assisting individuals in identifying barriers to performance of home management activities and establishing a plan to develop healthy routines to successfully care for the home.
  • Identifying sensory modulation deficits that may contribute to challenging behavior and incorporating sensory strategies into a daily routine.
  • Implementing a plan for an individual to engage in meaningful activities to support a healthy lifestyle.
  • Collaborating with individuals and health professionals to facilitate the highest level of independence and safety for an individual with cognitive deficits.
  • Assisting individuals in developing resources and supports that enable successful occupational participation.

Occupational therapy’s distinct value in mental health is the belief that meaningful activity is at the core of individual health, wellness and recovery.  OTs equip individuals to competently perform occupations that they want and need to do allowing for full participation in life.




American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2017, Vol. 71, 7112410035p1-7112410035p19. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.716S03