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kath smith
Posted on 9 Apr 2007 2:28 pm

As a mental health Occupational Therapist who works closely with psychologists, psychiatrist and nurses, all of whom place importance on return to health and well being including work and the home.
I and the teams I work in, are clear about the unique skills OT's have to offer both those in acute care and those getting services from the local community teams, helping it's clientele achieve health and wellbeing, and quality of life.

The occupation in occupational therapy refers to a much wider remit than just work, and the writer appears to have a very narrow and limited understanding of the profession.

The importance of OT comes in having skills to assess the individual, their biopsychosocial make up and functioning, whilst also reviewing the environment the individual functions in and the tasks they need to or aspire to achieve to do -.......this is especailly important for those returning from active duty, where stress trauma and injury may result in reduced ability to function either through trauma and or psychological issues. Using their understanding of human occupation (not work only!)OT's are able to help even the most traumatised/distressed clients gently re-engage with life and help the individual return to being able to do and engage in doing the things and activites that make us human - work(!)(play if you are a child) but also more imortanatly other things we do 'that occupy' leisure, self care and care of others and social engagement.

Perhaps if there were (any) OT's in the MOD then some of those soldiers returning from active duty, struggling with PTSD may have been able to benefit from the gentle holiistic approaches that OT's employ. After all it is a profession that has much of it's origin in and grew out of the war and the need for rehab and help for it's soldiers.

Kath Smith

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