OT Works! supports World Health Day and efforts to build a fairer, healthier world. On April 7, 2021, we recognize and remain committed to overcoming inequities that exist in health care.
In our practice and beyond, we strive to work together and act beyond borders. We also support the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy (CAOT) which advocates for improved access to occupational therapy services for Canadians.
For more information, visit World Health Day 2021.
Take care of your health.
COVID-19 has been hard on us all. Connect with resources and people to better manage your mental health and chronic pain during these tough times.
- Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division: Tips for good mental health | Here to Help
- Pain BC: COVID-19 news and resources for people living with pain | Pain BC
We’re here to help.
Image reposted from heretohelp.bc.ca.
Occupational therapists recommend a balanced approach when managing your health while working from home. They consider the physical, cognitive, emotional and environmental demands that affect wellbeing at work. Here are some OT tips to take care of yourself while working from home:
- Start by improving your ergonomic set up to address posture.
- Remember to take microbreaks.
- After work, engage in activities that bring you a sense of calm.
Building good habits is essential to feeling successful at work. You can read more on how to improve how you work from home in this article by The Signal.
Get Started with an OT
Could you or someone you know benefit from an OT assessment? All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and have additional training in areas such as mental health, brain injury rehabilitation, home safety and chronic pain.
We are here to help after an injury or a motor vehicle accident. Contact us today!
Phone: 604.696.1066 ext. 1000
Practicing dance moves can be a step in the right direction when returning to work after an injury. Sports and leisure activities build skills and endurance that are often transferrable in the workplace. Our occupational therapists sometimes incorporate sports and leisure activities into treatment plans so workers return to their jobs in a timely and safe manner. This increases workplace productivity, decreases the number of absences and can reduce worksite accidents.
How OTs Use Sports and Leisure for Return to Work
When Melissa Ferguson, OT, first meets with a client, she wants to know, “What are some of the important activities for you in your life?” She asks her clients why they enjoy those activities. She chooses to focus on what lights her clients up and gets them excited, even when an injury feels like a barrier to participating. She uses task analysis to create a step by step breakdown on how to achieve a chosen final goal.
Through a gradual progression in frequency and intensity, Melissa helps her clients discover what they can do, rather than focusing on what they can’t.
The Benefits of Sports and Leisure
Melissa’s clients build up sports and leisure routines before returning to work. As a result, her clients arrive at their jobs better prepared with skills in stress and pain management as well as community activation and ergonomics.
Exercise and hobbies can improve both physical and psychological functioning when they become regular, personalized practices for a variety of reasons. They allow us to connect with members of our community. They foster a feeling of accomplishment and confidence. Sports and leisure also:
- develop habits to build structured routines
- hone motor skills
- prevent and improve back problems, especially through low-stress aerobics like walking and swimming
- reduce chronic pain through yoga, Pilates, and strength training
- support independent living for seniors and prevent falls
- release tension caused by repetitive tasks and desk set-ups
- foster mental wellbeing
Educating yourself is a great first step to returning to recreational activities. Below are resources you can turn to for more information.
- “The Benefits of Recreation.” (City of Richmond)
- “Fearless Fitness: An Exercise Guide for People with Chronic Pain.” (CurableHealth.com)
- “Effects of Recreational Physical Activity and Back Exercises on Low Back Pain and Psychological Distress: Findings from the UCLA Low Back Pain Study.” (Authors: E. Hurwitz, H. Morgenstern, and C. Chiao)
Get Started with an OT
All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and have additional training in areas such as mental health, brain injury rehabilitation, home safety and chronic pain.
If you or someone you know could benefit from occupational therapy after a motor vehicle accident or other injuries, contact us today! We are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Phone: 604.696.1066 ext 1000
Slip on your sneakers and walk outside for 30 minutes every day. Research demonstrates that a half hour of walking a day can improve your physical and mental health. Walking also has benefits for creativity and problem-solving.
In rehabilitation, our occupational therapists often include walking as part of activation as a way to achieve meaningful goals. Activation is the process of returning to regular routines and activities after an accident or injury.
You can read more about the benefits of walking in this article by CBC News Vancouver.
Get Started with an OT
Could you or someone you know benefit from an Occupational Therapist’s guidance? All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and have additional training in areas such as mental health, brain injury rehabilitation, home safety and chronic pain.
We are here to help after a motor vehicle accident or injury. Contact us today!
Phone: 604.696.1066 ext. 1000.
Welcome Steven Lin, Aman Ranji and Maren Kristensen to the OT Works! team. They provide community OT services for individuals by implementing daily activities at home, work and in the community in order to foster increased independence. All three of our new therapists are eligible to work on our contracts with WorkSafe BC, ICBC and Veterans Affairs Canada. They also serve private-paying clients and those with extended health/disability insurance.
Steven has been working as an Occupational Therapist for over 13 years. He has successfully treated clients with traumatic brain injuries and traumatic stress disorders. He recognizes that every client has unique strengths and barriers and looks forward to problem-solving with his clients. Steven serves clients in the Metro Vancouver region, including Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, and Surrey.
Aman has a diverse background in physical and mental health and has worked in both private and public settings. He is a Certified Work Capacity Evaluator (CWCE) and enjoys assisting clients as they return to work. He aims to have positive meaningful interactions with each of his clients. Aman also serves clients in the Metro Vancouver region.
Maren has practised occupational therapy for 10 years in both British Columbia and Alberta. She has a passion for working with clients recovering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Adjustment Disorder. She is very experienced with Return-to-Work planning for clients with various injuries. Maren serves the North Shore region, including North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Vancouver.
Like all of our therapists, Steven, Aman and Maren are full registrants and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).
Get started with an OT
If you or someone you know could benefit from working with an occupational therapist, contact us today!
Phone: 604.696.1066 ext. 1000.
OT interventions such as activation and exposure therapy, as well as daily routine implementation, are instrumental in getting clients back to work and life while managing mental health concerns.
Especially during COVID-19, and afterwards, caring for our own mental and emotional well-being is necessary to foster healthy, supportive communities.
A lack of funding for occupational therapy means that many Canadians aren’t getting the services that they need. Click here to learn how you can advocate for improved access to occupational therapy services!
Message from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)
“It’s time to recognize OTs as mental health providers!
“Now more than ever, we need “all hands-on deck” to help Canadians with the mental health care they need following the unprecedented disruption that COVID-19 has wreaked on everyday lives. The Mental Health Commission refers to an ‘echo pandemic’ of mental health impacts in the wake of COVID-19 – a critical societal issue for which OTs are an essential part of the solution.
“Unfortunately, most Canadians cannot access occupational therapy services as occupational therapy is not covered under most public and private health care plans.
“Critical decisions are being made by employers, insurance companies, and unions to increase access and coverage for mental health services following the impact of COVID-19. OTs must take action now, to inform decision makers that OTs should be recognized as mental health providers and included in public and private health care plans.
“Visit www.caot.ca/mentalhealthOT to find sharable case studies and a template letter you can send to your insurance provider, union, MP and MPP.”
Image: Courtesy of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
OT Works! is an organization committed to respect, inclusion, and equality. We stand against the legacy of systemic bias, racism and unequal treatment that continues to plague our communities. We acknowledge the history and current challenges that Black, Indigenous and people of colour communities have in Canada and elsewhere.
As occupational therapists, we recognize that cultural, economic, and racial justice factors influence how our clients experience life and impact their health. Our clients’ and customers’ safety and dignity are important to us.
We are committed to delivering care that is client centred. Our clinical practices and business operations are based on a set of core values, the center of which is Respect. As OTs, we are guided by a Code of Ethics that states the expectation that occupational therapists uphold clients’ rights to be treated with respect and dignity within a safe and nonjudgmental environment. The Code of Ethics also values peoples’ right to self-determination and occupational therapists’ responsibility to acknowledge diversity and uphold the principle of equity.
We support the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists position on “No silence in the face of inequality and injustice”.
We are listening carefully right now. We hear what is being said, and we are here to learn and support when we can. It is where we must start. But it is also not enough.
We have a responsibility and an opportunity to do more than just listen and learn. We also have to find ways to apply those lessons. And we have to be part of creating meaningful action.
In the coming months we’ll be doing more work to determine the most appropriate ways for OT Works! to take action – including developing the framework of a policy and training that will move us beyond the values of respect and inclusion and into a space where we are actively engaged in creating a more equitable and fair society.
In the meantime we commit to continuing to listen and grow as we engage in a variety of learning opportunities. We will do this both as individuals and collectively–looking at the roles we can each play in creating necessary and vital changes.
Combatting Inequality and Racism
Improving cultural respect and acceptance in healthcare settings is essential to inclusion and diversity.
- National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health: Key Public Health Resources for Anti-Racism Action
- National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health: Racism and Health Equity
- First Nations Health Authority: Cultural Humility and Cultural Safety Webinars
- Vox: The Unbearable Grief of Black Mothers
- The Conversation: Racism Impacts Your Health
We want all our clients and customers to feel safe and feel heard. If you or someone you know experiences disrespect or discrimination while interacting with one of our team members, please let us know.
Image Credits: Raw Pixel Ltd. (license)
Team members at OT Works!, and their families, participated in the Alone Together Run to stay active and raise funds for at-risk communities in Ethiopia.
Run For Water and Food For The Hungry Canada have partnered to promote a virtual race. The annual Run for Water has been postponed due to the public health situation and COVID-19 in British Columbia. Instead, they encourage BC residents to go for a run on their own.
The Alone Together Run is raising funds to help communities in Ethiopia manage the pandemic. COVID-19 may be more dangerous in Ethiopia due to higher levels of poverty and limited access to healthy nutrition, clean water, sanitation services, and education.
OT Works! raised $514.72 for the cause. All donations to the Alone Together Run were matched by Run for Water’s sponsors for an overall impact of $1,029.44.
We look forward to participating in the next Run for Water race at Mill Lake Park.
The health and well-being of our therapists, staff and clients is our top priority. Since the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, OT Works! has taken precautionary steps to reduce the risk associated with transmission and infection. As BC begins its Phase 2 Restart Plan, OT Works! has developed a series of steps that we will take together. We strive to protect the people in our networks and are committed to resuming operations with thoughtful consideration given towards everyone involved.
Policy, Procedures and Training
OT Works! has developed specific Covid-19 policies and procedures to keep clients, therapists and staff safe. We have provided training on our Safety Plan to all our therapists and staff. We regularly monitor developments and guidance from the Public Health Officer of BC, BC Center for Disease Control, the Government of Canada, WorkSafeBC, regional health authorities and the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC). We review all guidance and update policies and procedures accordingly.
Remote Working for Operations
Remote working is the default mode of business for non-clinical operations. Our office remains closed for staff at this time. Our collaboration takes place online and by phone.
Service Delivery: In-Person and Telehealth
We continue to deliver services by telehealth during BC’s Phase 2 Restart Plan. Our telehealth platform is private and secure. Telehealth remains our preferred method of service delivery when the services can be delivered safely and effectively.
In-person services can proceed for clients whose anticipated clinical benefits outweigh the risks, and only after completing a COVID-19 Point of Care Risk Assessment.
Our therapists will assess themselves daily for symptoms of the common cold, influenza or COVID-19 before delivering any in-person services. They will not conduct in-person services if they are ill, have travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days or if they are identified as a close contact of a confirmed case.
Our therapists will limit the number of in-person visits following the recommendation of COTBC to 40-50% pre-pandemic caseloads. All clients considering in-person services will complete a Point of Care Risk Assessment with their OT before the session proceeds and at the start of their in-person session. Upon completion of the screen, the OT may adapt the session plan to maintain the health and safety of both the client and therapist if necessary.
Our therapists will provide clear communication outlining expectations such as requesting clients wash their hands and limiting the number of people in their home/environment prior to the occupational therapist’s arrival. Our therapists will also wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for every in-person client visit and will conduct hand hygiene before and after the client encounter.
Clients are invited to wear masks if they have them and prefer to, but they are not obliged to do so. Whenever possible, the therapist will maintain 2 meters (6 feet) between themselves, the clients, and anyone else in attendance (e.g. family member or employer).
Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Therapists are required to wear face masks for the entire duration of any in-person visit and will follow procedures to safely manage and care for PPE. Training has been provided on the proper use, management and care of PPE.
Therapists will perform proper hand hygiene when interacting with clients. Training has been provided on hand hygiene protocols with specific attention given our operations in the community.
Working with Support Workers
The Occupational Therapist will confirm that remote support worker sessions are necessary by determining feasibility, therapeutic value, the activities involved and the feepayer’s support before proceeding. Any support workers providing urgent in-person services must follow the same safety protocols as all our occupational therapists.
Self-Isolation and Quarantine
All therapists, consultants and employees must self-isolate, follow guidelines from the Center for Disease control and contact 8-1-1 if they travel internationally or develop symptoms associated with COVID-19. Therapists with new or a worsening cough will not work in-person with any clients, client representatives, fellow providers, fee payers, employers or OT Works! employees for at least 5 days after their onset of symptoms OR until symptom resolution, whichever is sooner.
OT Works! has policies and procedures in place to monitor the effectiveness of our Safety Plan.
Questions or Concerns
If you have questions or concerns about our Safety Plan or the actions of our occupational therapists, please contact us. You may also request a copy of our detailed Safety plan via email.