text: COVID-19 Occupational Therapists: Essential to Mental Health, image: lighthouse with water spilling over the guardrails

Occupational Therapists are Essential to Mental Health

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

Alone Together Run: Supporting Global Communities During COVID-19

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.

Louise Chiasson captures the beautiful Vancouver skyline during her run
Pamela and Jason Russell caught on camera by their son, Stuart.