The role of occupational therapists for Every Moment Counts is one of change agent, educational enhancer, and mental health promoter – to assist teachers, other school support staff, administrators, and families in promoting successful participation and enjoyment during academic (classroom, art, PE) and non-academic (recess, lunch, after-school) times of the day for children/youth with and without disabilities and mental health challenges.
Every Moment Counts model programs and embedded strategies. Developed by occupational therapists, but implemented by all!
- Creating a Comfortable Cafeteria
- Refreshing Recess
- Embedded Classroom Strategies for Mental Health Promotion
- After-School Leisure Coaching
All of the model programs focus on embedding interactions and activities associated with enhancing feelings of mental well-being and happiness in children and youth (e.g. promoting enjoyment, developing strengths, participation in health-promoting activities).
Although this initiative is led by OTs, all programs and embedded strategies require the support and participation of teachers, cafeteria/recess supervisors, other school staff, administrators, students and families. Occupational therapists are skilled in knowing how to help individuals participate successfully in their daily activities by enhancing skills or modifying the environment or the activity. An important aspect of Every Moment Counts is to ensure that all students with and without disabilities and/or mental health challenges are fully integrated into all school environments and are able to participate and enjoy social interaction with peers. OT's analyze the social, emotional, physical and sensory aspects of participation in order to make the modifications needed for successful participation.