Occupational therapists recognize that a mental health problem can have a pervasive impact on an individual, their family, and the community network. As experts in occupation, they work proactively to prevent the onset of mental health problems, ensure that people’s occupational needs and potential are met through engagement in meaningful and purposeful activity.
They facilitate people’s participation and engagement in everyday living by using a holistic, biopsychosocial, person-centered approach that encourages individuals to use their existing capabilities and strengths. The practice is focused on enabling individuals to change aspects of the person, the occupation, the environment, or some combination of these to enhance occupational participation.
Occupational therapists’ expertise in relationship building and the therapeutic use of self are essential tools in determining meaningful activities that motivate and provide incentives for psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery. They therefore enable people to be active and productive in their community by using evidence-based individual and group-based approach interventions including skills training, education, group work, self-management, and strategies to encourage community inclusion and participation.