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.

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!
For more info please contact

September and October 2013 update

September and October have seen the start of the review of Recovering Ordinary Lives - the strategy for occupational therapy in mental health services 2007-2017 (COT 2006). This has included re-convening the original steering group and holding network events in each of the four UK countries to hear your views of the impact, progress and possible next steps for the document. OTs have also been emailing their views and COT is happy to receive any views until the end of December 2013.
COT has had meetings with the Scotland and Wales Mental Health Managers looking at issues such as workforce and the best ways to protect OT posts. COT has also been promoting the forensic guidelines Occupational therapists' use of occupation-focused practice in secure hospitals (COT 2012) at the recent Recovery Conference in Bournemouth which helped to promote the importance of occupation to service users and other professionals. The guidelines were also promoted at the International AHP Conference in Edinburgh. Finally look out for the October BJOT article “Are occupational therapy interventions for service users with mental health problems cost effective?” (pages 470-473) with key suggestions about how to move this agenda forward.
For more information please contact

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.

Regional subgroups

We currently have an active Regional Subgroup for Scotland, with groups for England, Northern Ireland and Wales in development.

Tips for students:

Find the: 10 Top tips for students who are about to undertake a practice placement with people with mental health problems


Recovering Ordinary Lives: COT wants your views about Impact, Progress and Next steps

Fri, 09/08/2013 - 15:18
Due to feedback from members, COT would like to produce an Interim Report about member’s views of the impact, progress and next steps for Recovering Ordinary Lives; the strategy for occupational therapy in mental health services 2007-2017. To collect views we are reconvening the steering group for a meeting in September, will hold four free networks events, one in each of the four countries for BAOT members to attend and will use email networks including those of the Specialist Sections.... Read more

OT AMHPs face ‘catalogue of prejudice and misunderstanding’, says COT

Tue, 30/04/2013 - 12:02
Occupational therapists who wish to be approved mental... Read more

New mental health SPEaR topic page

Fri, 12/04/2013 - 15:10
January and February 2013 has seen the release of a new... Read more

Contribute to our HCPC consultation response on AMHP programmes in England

Thu, 24/01/2013 - 16:25
The HCPC has recently taken over the statutory... Read more

New COT guideline on the use of occupation in secure settings published

Tue, 27/11/2012 - 16:19
New guidelines published today by the College of... Read more