AOTA fully support passage of the Occupational Therapy Mental Health Act, to insure that individuals coping with Mental or behavioral health disorders have access to the full spectrum of necessary and effective care, including occupational therapy. Occupational therapy is a skilled health, wellness and rehabilitation service dedicated to the maximization of performance and daily functioning. The profession was born in public psychiatric hospitals and established its roots more than a century ago. Occupational therapists can help persons with serious mental illnesses on the road to recovery. Occupational therapists bring a unique skill set and expertise that can assist persons with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder overcome cognitive impairments that impact speech, memory, language and day-to-day decision making.
Occupational therapists work with individuals across the life span coping with impairments of function regardless of the cause. Occupational therapy focuses on improving an individuals’ ability to remain productive and as independent as possible. Occupational therapists are graduate prepared health care professionals with training and education encompassing the social, emotional, psychological and physical aspects of interaction between an individual and their environment. This person-in-environment centered approach allows occupational therapy to address functional impairments regardless of the cause.