For Occupational Therapists

Vision Statement: Building Capacity of School Personnel to Promote Mental Health: School personnel will work together to create environments and interactions that will promote and support all students' mental health and well-being.

This tab focuses on building capacity of occupational therapy practitioners to apply a public health approach to mental health in schools, community, and hospital/clinic settings.

Building Capacity: What does this mean?
Building capacity is broader than traditional professional development geared toward individuals – it involves shared learning and shared work among all relevant stakeholders. Relevant stakeholders in schools include just about everyone – principals, teachers, para-educators, related school personnel, bus drivers, volunteers ... and even students and families.

  • Shared Learning focuses on increasing knowledge and skills related to mental health promotion based on current best evidence. A variety of knowledge translation (KT) strategies are used including reading, reflection and discussion in order to apply current best evidence to practice.
  • Shared Work focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration and community-building using Communities of Practice (CoPs). CoPs bring relevant stakeholders together to do shared work around the common goal of mental health promotion in schools.

The building capacity of OTs process has been used to:

  1. Enable occupational therapists (OTs) to apply a public health approach to mental health in school and community practice resulting in the development of approximately 200 OT Change Leaders in Ohio; and
  2. Enable OTs to integrate services to natural school contexts versus the provision of pull-out therapy in isolated therapy rooms.

Refer to the tabs on the left to learn more about how to replicate these initiatives.

Building Material for OTs