Occupational Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder

Our specialist mental health occupational therapists provide therapy online for people with major depressive disorder. 

We are a registered NDIS provider and use an inclusive approach to therapy, where the person can be in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

How can occupational therapy benefit people with major depressive disorder?

A mental health occupational therapist is different from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Mental health occupational therapists look at how your condition affects the functional aspects of your life and work with you on ways to improve this.

Occupational therapy can benefit people with major depressive disorder in several ways:

1. Restoring Daily Routines: Major depressive disorder often disrupts a person’s ability to perform day-to-day activities and engage in meaningful occupations. Occupational therapy helps individuals restore their daily routines by assisting with tasks such as personal care, meal planning, and household chores. By regaining a sense of structure and accomplishment in their daily lives, individuals may experience improved mood and self-esteem.

2. Building Coping Skills: Occupational therapists help individuals develop effective coping strategies to manage symptoms of depression. They teach adaptive techniques for stress reduction, problem-solving, decision-making, and time management. By building these skills, individuals are better equipped to face challenges and reduce depressive symptoms.

3. Promoting Meaningful Engagement: Engaging in meaningful occupations such as hobbies, social activities, or work can significantly improve mental health and well-being. Occupational therapists help individuals identify activities they find fulfilling and establish strategies to participate in them. By promoting engagement in enjoyable and purposeful activities, occupational therapy can increase motivation, reduce isolation, and enhance feelings of accomplishment, all of which can positively impact depressive symptoms.

4. Improving Sleep Patterns: Sleep disturbances commonly accompany major depressive disorder and can exacerbate depressive symptoms. Occupational therapists work with individuals to establish healthy sleep routines and develop relaxation techniques to improve sleep quality. By addressing sleep difficulties, occupational therapy can contribute to alleviating depressive symptoms and improving overall well-being.

5. Enhancing Social Skills: Depression often leads to social isolation and difficulties in interpersonal relationships. Occupational therapists help individuals improve their social skills, communication abilities, and self-confidence. This can involve teaching assertiveness, active listening, and problem-solving techniques to enhance social interactions and support networks, ultimately reducing feelings of loneliness and fostering positive relationships.

6. Providing Emotional Support: Occupational therapists offer a safe and supportive environment for individuals to express their emotions and concerns. Through therapeutic conversations and guidance, they help individuals gain insight into their emotions, develop self-awareness, and learn healthy ways of processing and managing their feelings.

Overall, occupational therapy provides a holistic approach to addressing major depressive disorder by focusing on restoring functional and meaningful participation in daily life activities, promoting mental well-being, and improving overall quality of life. It is essential to consult with a qualified occupational therapist to develop an individualized treatment plan based on the specific needs and goals of each person.

Occupational therapy assessments for major depressive disorder

We are able to provide many types of occupational therapy assessments online, including Functional Capacity Assessments (FCA) and reports required for the NDIS. Please see this article for more information on assessments we can provide.

NDIS registered provider

We are a registered NDIS provider and work with self-managed, plan-managed and agency-managed clients. 


If your are an NDIS provider or support coordinator we can provide reliable occupational therapy for clients with major depressive disorder in any location. Refer a client and we’ll connect you to the right clinician. 

Is online occupational therapy effective?

Yes! A growing body of evidence shows that online delivery of therapy can be as effective as face to face. Online therapy has many other benefits too, including being convenient and accessible for people in regional and rural areas.  

How does online occupational therapy work?

At Umbo online therapy is not just zoom plus business-as-usual. It’s much more diverse than simply videoconferencing. Umbo therapists provide an individualised approach to each person, using the latest evidence, and a variety of technologies and engagement techniques.

Umbo champions person-centred therapy. It means the person and their family/support people leads the conversation. We believe that the most effective therapy occurs when support is given in the environment where the person lives, learns, works or plays. Therefore we work with the family, and teach skills to you or to other supporters. This means you’re achieving real-life goals, rather than just achieving goals in a clinic.

We are a certified social enterprise helping Australian families access allied health services.