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What can you expect from us?

We appreciate that a person can have mental health and physical health challenges that impact each other. That their health as a whole can be impacted by where they live and have access to. That there are cultural and social factors to consider and so much more especially when factoring in the person’s beliefs, motivations and experiences.

Our OTs can be discreet and individualized around a person’s usual activities and routine as much as possible so that the person is within their comfort zone. We respect what works best for individuals and can adapt accordingly. We have met some pretty strong people during our 10 years working in mental health and continue to be inspired and learn from individuals that are embracing their recovery each day.

Occupational therapists work to uncover strengths, interests and goals that a person has – this can be difficult for a person to express especially if they have cognitive deficits or an enduring illness. That is what Visible Values is all about – helping those with complex backgrounds figure out within themselves what they want in their lives. We have a few evidence based capacity building tools to help these individuals express themselves – free from suggestibility and have had many successes with our approach.

Occupational therapy functional assessments measure a person’s :

  • Level of independence in all domains of life
  • Functional cognition, capacity and problem solving
  • Current support systems, social network, services and equipment
  • Evidence of disability; taking into account mental and physical health

Examples of standardised OT assessments used in a functional assessment are: Allens cognitive level (ACLs) and Perception, recall, plan and perform (PRPP), The Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale (RUDAS), Life Skills Profile 16 measure (LSP-16) and Health of the Nation Outcomes Scale (HoNOS).

Our Occupational Therapists will spend the time to get to know the individual and learn about their values and goals. We have specifically tailored methods for people with communication or cognitive issues and completely understand that clients with mental health issues don’t appreciate the clipboard or laptop approach. We follow a model of care where the person remains at the centre of their autonomy.

Please let us know the purpose of the report that is required before the assessment so that it can be developed for this purpose/audience in mind. OT functional reports can be used for decision making for housing models, care levels, assistive devices, guardianship and other formal applications.

The reports will also recommend supports and strategies that can be implemented or improved upon to enhance independent living and quality of life. An OT can help put these in place or work with the current supports.

We have found that face to face training with care staff and family members have a greater impact than sending an OT report. We have provided staff training for whole teams or just with the individuals – to help broaden understandings towards independent living, recovery and mental illness; how these relate for each person and their abilities and challenges.