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.

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.  

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

Mental Health Week 2020: #GetReal

OT Works! is proud to acknowledge Mental Health Week. We would like to #GetReal and celebrate the efforts of all the healthcare professionals and people who are providing support during this COVID-19 period of occupational disruption.

Our occupational therapists provide clients with recommendations to manage their mental health and thrive. They can help you do what you need and want to do while working with current physical distancing measures in place in British Columbia.

Together, we can get through this period of occupational disruption, encourage healthy coping strategies, and end the stigma around mental health.

Learn More

Canadian Mental Health Association

Facts – CMHA Mental Health Week

Key Messages – CMHA Mental Health Week

Jaclyn (white shirt, long brown hair), Pamela (green shirt, short grey hair), Nicole (black shirt, long brown hair)

Hello, Victoria!

OT Works! is now providing community occupational therapy services in Victoria and Vancouver Island.

OT Works! is pleased to announce that we are now offering community occupational therapy services to clients and customers on Vancouver Island. OT Works! helps a variety of people, including those who are injured in motor vehicle accidents (ICBC rehabilitation) or workplace incidents (WorkSafe BC programs). We provide workplace solutions (return-to-work services for insurance and disability management providers) and support for Canadian veterans and service members (Veterans Affairs). We also help private clients who need help with home safety or return-to-work support.

Locations Served

We serve clients in their community (homes, workplaces, school and in their community). Our OTs are mobile and come to where the clients live and work, which allows us to better understand our clients and develop meaningful assessment and treatment services that are individualized to each client. On Vancouver Island, our occupational therapists serve clients in the Greater Victoria region, and Central Island area.

Greater Victoria

  • Victoria
  • Esquimalt
  • Oak Bay
  • Sooke
  • Saanich
  • Sidney
  • Langford
  • Colwood
  • Metchosin

Central Vancouver Island

  • Campbell River
  • Courtenay
  • Comox
  • Cumberland
  • Fanny Bay
  • Nanoose Bay
  • Union Bay

Occupational Therapy Services

Our occupational therapists provide occupational therapy assessment and treatment services to clients throughout the rehabilitation process. Our community occupational therapy services include:

  • Return-to-Work Planning and Support
  • Ergonomic Assessments
  • Home Health & Safety
  • Community Integration
  • Concussion Management
  • Treatment for Depression and Anxiety

Click here for more info.

Our Therapists

Nicole Chan (Occupational Therapist) Victoria
Nicole Chan, Occupational Therapist in Victoria

Nicole Chan grew up in Victoria and is happy to provide OT services in her hometown. She serves clients in Greater Victoria and southern Vancouver Island including Victoria, Esquimalt, Sooke, East Sooke, Saanich, Sydney, Langford, Colwood, Metchosin. She has additional training and experience with traumatic brain injuries, ergonomic solutions and mental health rehabilitation.

Mathilde Bleuze serves the Comox Valley(Courteny, Comox) and central Vancovuer Island (Campbell River to Nanoose Bay). She works with a diverse range of clients including older adults, people with musculoskeletal injuries and workers requiring ergonomic assessments.

Contact Us Today

All of our other therapists-including Nicole and Mathilde-are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).

Contact us if you or anyone you know could benefit from occupational therapy services in Victoria or the Central Vancouver Island.

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com

Phone – Victoria: (250) 999-8896

Phone – Vancouver: (604) 696-1066 ext. 1000

Meet Melissa Ferguson

OT Works! is excited to welcome Melissa Ferguson to the team!  She works with a diverse range of clients, including those recovering from motor vehicle accidents, to help improve function and support their return-to-work.

Melissa has extensive experience helping clients with activities through adaptive recreation and education.  Her approach is objective and client focused, building on her client’s strength and resiliency. She is skilled at helping clients with chronic pain, mental health (anxiety and depression) and concussions/traumatic brain injuries.

Melissa is a full registrant and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).

Learn More: