What is the relevance of Occupational Therapy in the context of mental health?

With a core focus on the connection between mind, body and meaningful occupations, occupational therapy empowers individuals to lead fulfilling lives despite the challenges posed by their mental health conditions. Occupational therapy offers a range of interventions that are tailored to the unique needs of individuals who are dealing with mental health complexities. In short, Occupational therapists working in mental health provide strengths-based, behaviourally orientated and goal-directed services to improve their clients’ mental health and well-being. Let’s unpack some of the ways in which occupational therapy is deemed to have a meaningful impact on mental health journeys:

Building Routine/Structure – Many mental health conditions are known to disrupt daily routines which can lead to a sense of chaos, instability or discomfort. Occupational therapists work collaboratively with clients to establish structured routines that intend to provide a sense of purpose and stability to life. By enabling clients to engage in purposeful, self-driven activities, there are able to regain a sense of control over their lives.

Social Engagement – Isolation is a common challenge for those with mental health conditions. Occupational therapists often facilitate social engagement in many forms such as group therapy sessions, community outings, or active support groups. Each of these are likely to combat loneliness and nurture a sense of belonging.


 Stress Reduction and Coping Strategies – Occupational therapists can equip individuals with a list of practical skills and strategies to assist with manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. This proves to have a major positive impact on individuals who are willing to put in the effort to regularly engage in these strategies.