Mental Health Rehabilitation

Mental illness can arise from or be aggravated by traumatic events such as motor vehicle and workplace injuries. These conditions can impact functioning at home, within the community and at the workplace. Our occupational therapists and counsellors are skilled in assisting clients who experience functional limitations arising from anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression using cognitive-behavioural and trauma informed approaches. The latter focuses on building client trust, the reframing of perceived threats as opportunities for growth and assisting clients with strategies to build and maintain support networks. Programs are provided in collaboration with the client’s physician, mental health professional, the funder and other stakeholders to ensure a coordinated and well supported plan.

Behavioural Activation

Clients who present with a stable profile of mental health symptoms but also experience challenges participating in daily activities may benefit from behavioural activation directed by an occupational therapist. The process is collaborative and places a strong emphasis on trust building and providing choices and control to the client whenever possible. Behavioral activation seeks to help the client resume structured and regular participation in activities including home management, active exercise and community access. Basic and instrumental activities of daily living are increased in a systematic fashion along with the client’s participation in social and other meaningful roles. A robust, consistent and structured activity schedule occurring in the client’s natural environment provides a solid foundation to add work reintegration activities.

Work Reintegration

Work reintegration services include Functional Assessment to determine cognitive and psychosocial abilities (and physical abilities as relevant). Functional abilities are matched against critical job demands determined through Job Site Visit and consultation with the client and employer. Job demands may be cognitive, affective, interpersonal and physical. By understanding the gap between abilities and critical job demands, an appropriate Return-to-Work program can be designed. Following a period of behavioural activation if necessary, clients will benefit from an occupational therapist designed and implemented Graduated Return to Work (GRTW) Program. Apart from increasing work duration and task complexity, successful GRTWs address how coping and compensatory strategies can be implemented in the workplace to support durable return to work. Pacing, activity modification, problem solving, assertive communication and relaxation techniques are some of the strategies utilized. Where clients are deemed unable to return to their pre-injury job, we work closely with stakeholders including the employer and funder to develop realistic and durable workplace accommodations.

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