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Mental health is represented by our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It determines how individuals handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY in the mental health settings focuses on enabling individuals to re-engage in meaningful occupations through understanding underlying physiological influences and working on skills development. Occupational therapy in mental health deals with both children and adults with different therapeutic goals depending on the needs of the individuals. There are various mental illnesses that need to be referred to occupational therapy in mental health area including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and substance abuse behaviors. In addition, occupational therapy receives children with sensory issues and social-emotional dysfunctions.


  • Teaching individuals to utilize self-regulation strategies

  • Establishing routines and Improving sleep routine

  • Establishing positive habits

  • Utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approaches to facilitate participation in desired activities

  • Improving individuals’ social competence, such as making and keeping friends, coping with anger, and solving problems

  • Going out in organized social trips to improve individuals’ functioning in instrumental activities of daily living such as, shopping, using transportation, and money management. 

  • Evaluating factors interfering with success in school, home, community, etc.

  • Modifying the environment to support improved attention, participation and decrease sensory disturbances

  • Engaging individuals in a vocational rehabilitation program in which individuals are helped to get a job.

  • Educating caregivers about behavioral and psychosocial techniques to enhance the individuals` daily functioning

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY role in mental health:

Be aware of mental health disorders..

Do not hesitate to ask for help..

Major Depressive Disorder
Bipolar Disorder
Anxiety Disorders
Personality Disorders
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder  
Sleeping Disorders
Eating Disorders


Mental health disorders have various emotional, behavioral and physical symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms affect the individual’s skills and abilities to perform their daily occupations independently and without complications. 

  • Schizophrenia can affect communication and social skills (How?):

    • Experiencing Social withdrawal causes severe dysfunction in communication

    • Having hallucinations affects the ability to sustain a conversation

    • Loss of association and disorganized speech affects the flow of the conversation.

    • Delusions restrict the individual from cooperation as false beliefs lead to big conflicts.

  • Anxiety disorders can affect work engagement (How?):

    • Most of work places are crowded or have a large number of people working, this makes it difficult for individuals with agoraphobia (Fear of open areas).

    • Individuals with anxiety disorder may panic out when having a meeting, a deadline, or having a problem that needs a solution.

    • They may be unable to communicate with other colleagues due to severe stress

    • Individuals with anxiety disorders experience restlessness, and irritability which interferes with their ability to get work done.

How do mental health disorders affect individuals from OT perspective?



  • Get educated

    • Learn about mental health in general, the disease of the person you are taking care of, and what to do in case of an emergency.

Advices for Caregivers:

  • Encourage adhering to the treatment

    • Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) can be suggested for individuals. It is a comprehensive self-guided form that allows the individual with a mental disorder to make goals towards recovery and to prevent a mental health crisis. For more information: ( )

  • Establish a friendship with the patient

    • A perfect way to help a mental health patient is to make him feel beloved with having friends and family members around. This reduces their depression and isolation.

  • Take Care Of Yourself

    • As you are taking care of a patient, you are expected to have physical and mental health problems. You need to:

      • Take a break time for your self

      • Do exercises (At least stretching exercise)

      • Get Enough Sleep

      • Have a healthy routine

      • Seek help from a psychologist and support groups

      • Focus on what you can provide and do not overestimate your abilities.

Occupational therapy in mental health area can be found in Kuwait Center for mental health (KCMH) (Go to map). Our occupational therapists are treating in and out patients with different mental disorders. They visit the adult patients in their wards in addition to meeting them in a scheduled day care program twice a week. Moreover, there is a child and adolescent mental health area located in Al-manara building that receives patients with different mental issues .

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