October is OT Month!

Every October, OT Works! celebrate our incredible team of Occupational Therapists and the difference they make in their clients’ lives! 

The theme proposed for OT Month by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) this year is I ❤️ OT!  
 
Our Occupational Therapists at OT Works! help our clients in their homes and workplaces.
We provide individualized rehabilitation that facilitates functional improvement and active living. 
With objective, medically supported information and a focus on function our experienced OT’s create meaningful change for our clients and customers. 

Mental Health

One way to celebrate OT month is by providing more information to the public about the importance of OT. 
Occupational Therapists provide a holistic approach to clients in their recovery, allowing them to get back to the activities they love. 
OTs also play an essential role in mental health care, and in aging in place. 
Read more about how an occupational therapist can help you with mental health support: https://www.oteveryday.ca/mental-health 

Occupational Therapy at OT Works! 

All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and are skilled in treating clients with physical injuries, mental health, and brain injuries.  
Our OTs serve the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sea-to-Sky and Vancouver Island.  To learn more about our services, contact us.  

How Occupational Therapy can help with social anxiety

With COVID-19 restrictions being slowly lifted, and people starting to get back to in-person social and work activities , some people are experiencing unexpected feelings of unease and anxiety. 

Many people were expecting to be very happy and socially active right now, meeting friends, going to favorite restaurants, or joining that fitness class that they have been missing. But if instead of joy you are feeling afraid, anxious and are avoiding going out, please know that you’re not alone.  Many people are feeling the same way.

According to Anxiety Canada, “Social anxiety disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorders, affecting between 7 and 13% of the population”. 

How to effectively cope with social anxiety  

The good news is that there are effective ways to cope with social anxiety.  
Here are some good tips from Healthline

  1. Ease back into it 
  1. Visualize situations in your head 
  1. Allow yourself to be scared 
  1. Practice self-care 
  1. Get professional help 

Addressing anxiety is one of many things that Occupational Therapists can help with during these uncertain times.  Our OTs have training and experience helping people overcome fear, anxiety and help them get back to doing things they love. We know that dealing with social anxiety can be overwhelming, but our Occupational Therapists are ready to help you getting back to the activities that are meaningful to you. 
 
All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and are skilled in treating clients with anxiety and other mental health concerns.  
Our OTs serve the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sea-to-Sky and Vancouver Island.  To learn more about our services, contact us

Additional Resources 

Anxiety Canada: Self-help strategies for social anxiety 

Statistics Canada: Social Anxiety disorder: much more than shyness 

New York Times: How to deal with quarantine-induced social anxiety 

Image reposted from additude.com

OT Works! is hiring!

OT Works! is expanding services in Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Victoria!

We have open positions for Experienced Occupational Therapists in Vancouver and Fraser Valley, and for recent grads in Victoria and Fraser Valley.

If you know someone that would be a great fit for these roles, please share this post!

If you’d like to apply, please check our Careers page for more information.

OT Works! is the organization of choice for occupational therapists who want to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

Since 2000 our team has grown due to our commitment to our values and our people. We care about the people we serve and the people work alongside. Our therapists and clients are treated as individuals, not numbers. We are passionate about what we do and foster an environment where you can be inspired and be inspiring.

Apply today!

Run for Water: Providing clean water to communities in Ethiopia

For the fourth consecutive year, OT Works! Team participated in Run for Water, a run, walk and bike challenge with the goal of providing clean water to at-risk communities in Ethiopia. 
OT Works! Team members and their families ran, walked and biked on their local communities following the current restrictions and guidelines of BCCDC. 
Together, our team completed 111 activities during the month of May, and we covered almost 1,100 kilometers.  

Run for Water sponsors provide clean water for life for one person for each completed activity.  
In addition to our team’s efforts, OT Works! also donated $2,450 to the event, what made us the  number one team in the donation amount for the event! 
In total, OT Works! raised funds to provide clean water to 181 people in Haro, Ethiopia. 
 
Our collective results were great, and our team members also had some outstanding individual accomplishments. Here’s some of our team’s highlights: 

  • Our Coordinator, People & Services, Milena Duarte, was the second place overall in the challenge for bike rides. She completed over 320 kilometers, and did one long ride of 110 kilometers in one day! 
  • Our associate Stephanie completed 21 runs during the challenge, covering 124 kilometers in total. 
  • Jaclyn Penner, one of our OTs, ran or biked 81 kilometers, and entered 12 different activities. 
  • Our OT Julia Pereira ran a total of 79k over 13 runs. 

    Way to go, OT Works! Team! 

OT Works! believes that we have a role to play in making the world a better place. We are committed to building a sustainable society that acknowledges our individual and collective impact on the natural world and environment. 

We look forward to participating in 2022 Run for Water event.

From left to right, top to bottom: Randy and his beautiful family on a walk on the North Shore; our Business Director, Jason and his family biking on Stanley Park; Janet and her partner run in PoCo; Melissa after a run in Vancouver; and Milena during a bike ride in Delta.

World Health Day 2021

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.

Lighthouse and Person with Telescope

Managing Mental Health and Chronic Pain: Resources to Help

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.

We’re here to help.

Our occupational therapists are skilled in treating clients with mental health concerns and chronic pain during occupational disruption.  To learn more, contact us.

Image reposted from heretohelp.bc.ca.

woman working in home office

OT Tips for Working from Home

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!  

Email: referrals@ot-works.com  

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000    

Adult female ballet dancer smiling with other dancers behind her

Sports and Leisure for a Durable Return-To-Work

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 

Additional Resources 

Educating yourself is a great first step to returning to recreational activities.  Below are resources you can turn to for more information. 

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. 

E-mail: info@ot-works.com 

Phone: 604.696.1066 ext 1000  

2 people walking along Vancouver seawall at sunset.

Walk Daily To Improve Your Health

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! 

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com 

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.   

Meet Steven, Aman and Maren: Occupational Therapists

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! 

Email: referrals@ot-works.com 

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.