what is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy involves engaging patients in daily activities which help in developing problem solving and coping skills as well as improving clients’ confidence and self-esteem.
A good instance is: someone I know got very unwell and they had to lay in bed for 3 months in the hospital. when you stay that long without doing physical tasks, your body tends to ‘forget’ how to do stuff. That’s why when she was finally discharged from the hospital, she was healthy but had extreme difficulties in doing simple physical tasks. Tasks like, brushing teeth, combing her hair, writing, walking, eating and even playing her favorite games. This is because, her muscles ‘forgot’ how to coordinate properly. After starting occupational therapy, her life got back to normality.
However, long periods of inactivity are not the only way one can find it difficult to coordinate their muscles. Injuries, pain, physical disabilities and some mental disorders can make it really difficult to coordinate your muscles. Including, even taking part in leisure activities. That is where an occupational therapist comes in.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health isn’t just the ‘absence of mental disorders’. WHO describes mental health as, “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities; can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. In short, I like to say good mental health is when you feel happy, content and safe in your thoughts. This encourages and enables you to be better and do better.
Just as there are different diseases that afflict different parts of the body, mental disorders afflict the mind. Mental health diseases affect your thoughts, your perceptions, your feelings, your motivation, your behavior, your personality and generally just your peace of mind. Sometimes, one’s mental health condition can worsen so much that they are completely unable to do the things they used to do.
Nobody deserves to be sick but diseases happen. At Oasis, we have a wide range of specialized professionals who ensure mental health recovery. They include; psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses and occupational therapists.
Occupational Therapy & Mental Health
Just as I had mentioned earlier, there are some mental health illnesses that make it very difficult for individuals to partake in normal daily activities. For instance; the lack of motivation from depression makes it almost impossible for one to complete or even begin tasks they once found easy to do. Anxiety can make one too fidgety or too uneasy to do simple tasks. schizophrenia can distort perception. To an extent where one can’t do tasks, they once did including personal hygiene. Similarly, Drug and substance abuse disorders can make it very hard for one to stay focused.
The occupational therapists at oasis specialty hospital assist such individuals. for instance, they guide them to perform different activities and tasks. this is an essential part of mental health recovery.
Occupational therapy for mental health focuses on enabling patients to work, be productive and enjoy leisure activities. The occupational activities at Oasis Specialty hospital are extremely effective and extremely fun.
- pool tables
- play station
- board games
- table tennis
- bead works
- art (painting, drawing, coloring etc.)
- carpet making
The occupational therapist uses some of those activities to analyze the physical, emotional and cognitive processes of the patients.