Occupational therapy addresses mental health needs in Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan Health supports new pilot initiative

    OTTAWA, Jan. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Saskatchewan has a long history and takes
pride in a health care system that provides services to address the needs of
its citizens. In keeping with this history and to advance services for
residents, the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) and the
Saskatchewan Society of Occupational Therapists (SSOT) are pleased to announce
funding was received from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health for a mental
health and addiction services pilot initiative in Saskatoon.
    The pilot will involve adults experiencing significant mental health
difficulties as they return to the community following a hospital stay.
Occupational therapy helps people who experience mental health problems to
continue to live life in a manner that is fulfilling. This project will
address the large number of mental health clients that do not receive
in-hospital and community occupational therapy services by providing a
successful hospital to community transition.
    "The project looks at alternative ways of providing services to clients
by using occupational therapists' skills in an expanded way," Health Minister
Don McMorris said. "We're interested in looking at using OT services in this
manner and the potential of improving access of health services to
Saskatchewan residents."
    The Saskatoon Health Region and Government of Saskatchewan Ministry of
Health Workforce Planning Branch worked in collaboration with CAOT and SSOT to
develop the 2-year pilot proposal. Services to clients include providing
assessments in the workplace, school or community followed by recommendations
to successfully follow a medication regime or improve safety and mobility at
home or in the community.
    "This interdisciplinary approach to dealing with client needs will ensure
a more thorough assessment and intervention process," said Coralie Lennea,
SSOT executive director. "Identifying an individual's everyday needs and the
barriers to functioning in the community will be the first step, occupational
therapists can then develop strategies to assist clients with their daily
    Occupational therapists provide a crucial role among health care
professionals in enabling people to have the tools to live independently.

    The Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists is a national,
non-profit professional organization. CAOT, along with its provincial and
territorial affiliates, represents over 10,000 occupational therapists and
almost 1,100 students. For more information, visit www.caot.ca.

    The Saskatchewan Society of Occupational Therapists is a provincial
professional organization responsible for the regulation of occupational
therapists in Saskatchewan, and for the promotion and development of the
profession and its members. Visit www.ssot.sk.ca for more information.

For further information:

For further information: Erica Lyle, Communications Coordinator,
Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, (800) 434-2268, ext. 225,

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Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

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