COT SS - Mental Health
We advocate a holistic approach towards clients with mental health problems
COT Specialist Section - Mental Health has a well-established network of members who support each other’s professional development, and work cooperatively to shape and influence mental health and well-being national policy.
Find out more about becoming a member and the membership benefits involved.
July and August 2014
These are traditionally quieter months in the OT calendar as people have their summer holidays. However, COT remained busy contributing to a series of a meetings with Public Health England to discuss the OT contribution to promoting public health in areas such mental and emotional wellbeing. Discussions included the need to tackle the physical health of those with severe mental illness, the need to promote the five ways to wellbeing (www.fivewaystowellbeing.org) and how to use NICE Public Health Guidance 16 about using OT to enhance mental wellbeing in older adults. In addition COT has been finalising the review of Recovering Ordinary Lives which will be published in September’s OTN including the COT work plan.
May and June 2014
COT attended Naidex in Birmingham and promoted how OTs can meet the mental health needs of those with long term conditions which was appreciated by the large numbers of OTs who attended. COT also hosted an event for OTs by the Department of Health about personal health budgets (PHBs) which included some interesting examples of how to use PHBs in mental health to enhance occupational participation. COT met with both the Northern Ireland Mental Health Managers and the Scottish Mental Health Managers in May and visited Scottish Parliament to listen to a debate. COT Conference in Brighton included a COT led poster discussion about the process for developing practice guidelines based on the success of “OTs use of occupation forced practice in secure hospitals”. COT delivered the first Beginners Guide to Mental Health course for OTs and we are hoping to roll these out to other areas of practice. COT was interviewed on Resonance FM about the OT role in job retention which included a mental health example. Finally, COT met with the English Minister responsible for AHPs, Dan Poulter to discuss the AHP contribution to mental health. He is convinced of the value that OTs offer but has requested more case examples that he can use in influencing.
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March and April 2014
The Easter period has seen a raft of conferences and events which are a great opportunity to spread the importance of mental health OT. The Health and Wellbeing at Work conference saw lots of interest from HR managers and small companies who want to employ private OTs to do bespoke pieces of work for the mental health needs of employees in their services. At Naidex, traditionally a disability equipment show, COT highlighted the work OTs can do to meet the mental health needs of those with long term conditions which was well received. COT has also been delivering workshops about developing a business mindset in OT practice and how to write business plans, all trying to gear up OTs for the widening employment market.
COT met with the National Executive Committee in March where there was discussion about the possibility of a COT Specialist Section Conference in England later this year and also visited Aintree Bariatric services which employ mental health OTs to address occupational and psychological issues associated with obesity. The OTs will be presenting their work at COT Conference on the 5th June. COT also attended the first Health Education England Mental Health meeting to debate national workforce questions and a meeting with the Royal College of Psychiatrists about developing values based CAMHs services. Finally, work priorities from the Recovering Ordinary Lives review are being identified and once agreed with COT Specialist Section –Mental Health will be released for action.
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January and February 2014
The New Year saw several consultations that COT responded to with support from members. These included a Northern Ireland consultation about changing the provision of addiction services which will include the closure of some units and extended provision at others. The Royal College of Nursing also had a consultation about the use of restrictive practices which includes those used with people with mental health problems and dementia. Both COT responses highlighted the OT role and the importance of meaningful activity and occupation.
COT took to the social media channels for the first ever Time to Talk Day on 6th February which is part of the anti-discrimination campaign by Time to Change. A blog was also released about the need to talk about addiction problems and the vital OT role in this area. COT have also been filmed by OT lecturers to produce a podcast for students about the evidence base in mental health. COT took part in the latest Care Quality Commission mental health expert reference group to discuss how the inspection visits can best address the needs of those with protected characteristics under the equalities legislation. COT also visited an enthusiastic group of OTs from Care UK to learn more about this expanding organization in mental health provision. Finally the Recovering Ordinary Lives review has taken comments from about 150 OTs across the UK and the information is now being discussed with COT and COT Specialist Section Mental Health to agree next steps forward so watch this space!
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Mental Health Clinical Forums
Clinical Forums of COT Specialist Section - Mental Health facilitate debate, networking, innovation and news in a specific domain of practice. Clinical Forums have annual national study days that influence practice and support the Specialist Section. These study days also support CPD activity and the development of OT in mental health. Outcomes of the study day form part of the Specialist Section annual report.
Find out more about the Special interest Group for Eating Disorders and the Forensic Forum, which is concerned with those who have a history or risk of offending.
We currently have an active Regional Subgroup for Scotland, with groups for England, Northern Ireland and Wales in development.