Date of Award
Susan Noyes PhD, OTR/L
mental illness, workplace, workforce, psychiatric outpatient, returning to work, intervention
The side effects of mental illness can affect areas of occupation, including: play, leisure, work, social participation, activities of daily living, etc. (Brown & Stoffel, 2011). Through collaboration with Riverview Psychiatric Center (RPC) in Augusta, Maine, as well as Maureen Martin OTR/L, an evaluation of relevant research was conducted to determine occupational therapy’s (OT) roll in the process of returning to work (RTW) for clients newly discharged from an inpatient psychiatric facility. This evaluation devised three themes: personal factors related to RTW; assessment tools & frameworks used to guide intervention; and OT interventions that can facilitate RTW. Research suggests that two major person factors related to likelihood of RTW are self-efficacy and decreased depressive symptoms (Brenninkmeijer, et. al, 2018), (Bejerholm & Areberg, 2014). Assessment tools that address depression, anxiety, internal locus of control and empowerment were shown to guide effective treatment. Frameworks proven effective aimed to ignite meaningful conversations about the worker role (Lagerveld, Blonk, Brenninkmeijer, & Schaufeli, 2010), (Hitch et. al, 2017). With OT interventions targeting coping skills, stress management, self-efficacy, worker roles and overcoming negative connotations regarding work, the treatment team at RPC can facilitate smooth transition from inpatient psychiatric care to community living and decrease re-admittance rates (Rose & Perz, 2005), (Reme, et. al, 2015), (Lagerveld, et. al, 2012).
Miller, Cleo and Jordan, Blakelee, "Facilitating Return to Work Among Individuals with Mental Illness Through Occupational Therapy Interventions" (2019). Thinking Matters Symposium. 200.