Occupational Therapy for Mental Illnesses

Our specialist mental health occupational therapists provide therapy online for people with mental illnesses. 

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 mental illnesses?

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 mental illnesses in various ways:

1. Daily living skills: Occupational therapists work with individuals to develop or relearn essential life skills, such as personal hygiene, cooking, cleaning, and managing household tasks. This boosts the person’s self-esteem and independence, enabling them to better cope with the demands of daily life.

2. Routine and structure: Mental illnesses often disrupt a person’s ability to maintain a regular routine. Occupational therapists assist individuals in establishing a structured daily routine, which helps them manage their symptoms and reduces anxiety and stress.

3. Social interaction and community integration: Occupational therapy focuses on enhancing social skills and improving the ability to engage in meaningful social interactions. Therapists help individuals build social networks, participate in community activities, and reintegrate into work or educational settings.

4. Coping strategies: Occupational therapists teach individuals various coping strategies and stress management techniques. They help develop skills, such as relaxation exercises, deep breathing techniques, time management, and problem-solving strategies, which can reduce symptoms and improve overall well-being.

5. Occupational engagement and purpose: Occupational therapy emphasizes engaging individuals in meaningful activities that bring joy and a sense of purpose. By engaging in activities they enjoy or finding new hobbies, individuals with mental illnesses experience improved self-esteem, motivation, and a sense of accomplishment.

6. Sensorimotor interventions: Occupational therapists use sensorimotor interventions, such as therapeutic exercises, yoga, mindfulness, and sensory integration techniques, to address difficulties in sensory processing, attention, and motor skills. These interventions can reduce symptoms and improve overall functioning.

7. Employment support: Occupational therapists assist individuals with mental illnesses in exploring and engaging in meaningful work or vocational activities. They help with resume building, job training, workplace accommodations, and stress management techniques to foster successful employment.

Overall, occupational therapy helps people with mental illnesses develop skills, routines, and strategies to improve their quality of life, build resilience, and achieve their personal goals.

Occupational therapy assessments for mental illnesses

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 mental illnesses 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.