mental health occupational therapist

What is a mental health occupational therapist? Can I see one online?

A mental health occupational therapist is different from a psychologist or psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are medical doctors that have completed additional training in mental health and are able to prescribe medications. Psychologists are allied health professionals who help people overcome psychological problems, often with counselling and talking therapy approaches.

Occupational therapists working in mental health aim to assist people to lead fulfilled lives by focusing on the meaningful activities that people engage in. The Occupation in Occupational Therapy can be considered as any activity that a person chooses to engage in. Occupational therapists look at how your health condition affects the functional aspects of your life and work with you on ways to improve this.

A mental health occupational therapist will work collaboratively with you to identify goals that are meaningful to you. OT’s are skilled at addressing the functional impacts of your health condition and work in a holistic manner, utilising internal strategies as well as community participation and engagement in activity. OT’s consider how a person’s environment, daily function, and capacity interact. They will ask about your routine and habits to ensure that any suggestions made are appropriate to you and your lifestyle and focus on things that are important to you.

You may see an occupational therapist for the purpose of an NDIS report. An occupational therapist functional assessment is a report that details your strengths and any difficulties that you may have completing everyday tasks. It will contain strategies and support recommendations that will be beneficial to you to overcome functional challenges.

Can I see a mental health occupational therapist online?

Yes, we have mental health occupational therapists you can see online who provide the same types of services as an occupational therapist who would see you face-ot-face. 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.

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.

What types of mental health diagnoses can an occupational therapist work with?

Some common diagnoses that mental health occupational therapist can help with include but are not limited to;

  • Depression
  • Anxiety (generalised anxiety disorder, panic attacks)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • ADHD and Autism
What types of goals can a mental health occupational therapist help you achieve?

Each person is unique and will work with their occupational therapist to identify goals that are important and meaningful to them. Occupational therapists focus on a person’s participation in their daily activities, their capacity to do this and how their environment can affect this.

Some goals that occupational therapists can assist with include

  • Developing coping strategies to better manage your mental health and improve your quality of life (Strategies could include; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), practising mindfulness, identifying sensory preferences)
  • Improving emotional regulation skills
  • Increasing social participation in the community
  • Improving daily living skills and increasing independent living skills through prescription of graded tasks and activities
  • Improving organisational and budgeting skills
  • Finding and maintaining employment