How Occupational Therapy Fits In with Mental Health

Children as well as adults can have big emotional responses to their environment and that can often lead to disruptive behaviors that we see in Mental Health diagnoses like ADHD, anxiety, depression, and social disorders among many others. 

Those behaviors can affect many different aspects of our daily lives from being successful in school, to being efficient at work, to functioning peacefully in home life. And it can be hard to know what to do when things seem out of control.

All behavior is a result of or reaction to a stimulus. That stimulus could come from our senses or from our thoughts. Occupational therapists have a role in assisting to find successful coping strategies for mental health disorders and in building routines to ease the stressors of daily life. 

However, we also evaluate and address what in a child’s development might be contributing to the difficulties they are having with their environmental interactions and how those difficulties are affecting behavior. 

Sometimes the missing piece of the puzzle is figuring out what the brain needs in order to successfully handle all that info coming from our senses. 

Once we do that we can make a treatment plan to develop those needs and then the brain is better wired and more successful at handling whatever is thrown it’s way. The great thing is that these developmental pieces can be worked on at any age and the brain can still learn and re-wire itself to function more smoothly.

So mental health counseling and Occupational Therapy fit very nicely together to address mental health disorders from multiple directions to decrease symptoms and improve coping. 

If your child already has a mental health diagnosis or if not and you feel an evaluation may be appropriate, contact us to schedule an appointment. We can get you set up with a counselor and/or an Occupational Therapist as appropriate.

 

Angela Howell, Child Occupational Therapist

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