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Mental Health Center

A directory of mental health articles, advocacy information and links to prominent mental health organizations.

Theoretical & Practical Perspectives in Mental Health

Reji Mathew, PhD, is a psychotherapist/clinical instructor at New York University providing direct short-term psychotherapy, clinical supervision and cognitive behavioral skills treatment groups. She has worked in health care for over 18 years in direct practice counseling, case management, outreach and community education in agencies and hospital settings. Dr. Mathew contributes to ADVANCE monthly; her articles, found below, focus on addressing the psychosocial needs of rehabilitation patients.

A New Mental Health Resource
Guest Editorial

Responding to Mental Health Concerns  
Mental health principles and referral recommendations

Transitioning to Assistive Devices  

Helping patients negotiate beginnings and endings

Integrating Behavioral Skills  
Teaching patients how to regain their lives step by step

Stress Management
Help patients develop skills for resilience and wellness, plus print out our checklist!

Anxiety Management Training
Helping patients face fears in recovery, rehabilitation and life

Solution-focused Techniques
Fostering conversations about ability, not just disability

Reaching for Possibilities
Teaching optimism, emotional resilience and hope in recovery and rehabilitation

Helping patients discover moments of rest, relief and comfort in recovery, rehabilitation and beyond

The Mind-Body Connection
Guiding patients to self care and wellness

Energy Conservation
The art of pacing to foster maximum functionality

Learning Curves
Preparing patients for challenges and opportunities post-rehabilitation

Rehabilitating the Spirit
It takes a holistic focus to help patients restore their sense of self

The Relaxation Response
Equipping patients with a self-care tool for life

Guided Imagery Techniques
Help patients relax, manage stress and work through rehabilitation challenges

Disabling Fear
Exposure techniques can guide rehabilitation patients to conquer anxiety

Strengthening and Cultivating Motivation
The ingredient for success in rehabilitation and lifelong wellness

Relapse Prevention
Teaching patients self-management skills to identify setbacks before they happen and work toward lifelong wellness

Multiple Skills for Multiple Challenges
Issues in recovery and rehabilitation for clients with co-morbid conditions

Sounds Good
The role of music in medical recovery and rehabilitation

Managing Fatigue
Guiding patients to find hope and wellness

Focusing for Wellness
Helping patients get in touch with their "felt sense"

Helping Patients Get Unstuck
Teaching exposure response prevention

Grief and Loss
Helping patients cope so they can move forward

Engaging the Body, Mind and Spirit
The role of spirituality in wellness and recovery in health care

Managing Difficult Feelings
Learning emotional regulation

Running from Pain
Understanding post-traumatic stress disorder

AOTA's Role in the Mental Health Arena
ADVANCE routinely covers the work that AOTA is doing in the menal health arena. Listed here are recent articles that may be of interest to those interested in mental health education and advocacy.

AOTA's Plan for Mental Health Practice
What's happened-and what hasn't-in the past 10 month

Examining the Evidence  
An AOTA group is taking a long, hard look at just how much OT students are really learning about mental health

RA Passes Major Mental Health Initiatives
Scope-of-practice document, specialty certifications, are approved

What You Don't Know Can Hurt You  
OTs are getting left behind in mental health. You may-or may not-be surprised to find out why

The Psychosocial Drought
Is OT Education 'Failing' Psychology?

General Mental Health Coverage
Peruse past articles concerning general menatl health topics.

The Aging Alcoholic  

Defusing/detoxing the senior citizen who abuses alcohol requires knowledge of addictions and the ability to identify the problem

Substance Abuse and OT
You can treat addiction in any setting 

Soldiering On
Post-traumatic stress disorder can bean unforeseen barrier to recovery from TBI

Substance Abuse and OT
Evaluation and intervention for clients with substance abuse problems

Additional Resources
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
The largest scientific organization in the world dedicated to research focused on the understanding, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders and the promotion of mental health.

Mental Health America Dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and achieving victory over mental illness through advocacy.

The National Alliance on Mental Illnes (NAMI)
The nation's largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country.

The Campaign for Mental Health Reform
A collaboration of 17 national health organizations, representing millions of Americans, dedicated to making mental health a national priority and early access, recovery and quality in mental health services the hallmarks of our nation's mental health system.

The Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce
A not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the recruitment, retention, training, and performance of the prevention and treatment workforce in the mental health and addictions sectors of the behavioral health field. 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
The US Federal agency charged with improving the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitative services in order to reduce illness, death, disability, and cost to society resulting from substance abuse and mental illness. SAMHSA is a branch of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Mental Health Archives

Your answer lifts the ietnllignece of the debate.

Johannah Johannah,  Your answer lifts the ietnllig,  Your answer lifts the ietnllignece of the debate.December 10, 2012
Your answer lifts the ietnllig, DE

I have worked in the field for over 27 years. I wanted to work in psych. I've mainly worked in SNFs. There are psych patients in SNFs also. But my psych education is used with all patients. I did not realize that our OT education on all levels had decreased in psych ed! I find this just awful! I am happy to hear of the turn around! We are often the only ones that can effectively treat the psychological component of the rehabilitation process! That I consider a mainstay of our profession and of our treatments in all settings! I don't understand how our AOTA lost site of this! I really am dismayed and shocked to learn of this. We MUST NOT loose it!

Teri  Fitzpatrick ,  COTA/LNovember 02, 2011
Stuart , FL

Larry Davidson, director of the SAMHSA Recovery to Practice Initiative, will be presenting on the role of OT in mental health recovery at the United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association conference in Boston, June 13-16, 2011 (see This is very significant to have a “non-OT” promoting our profession at a national conference; especially someone in such a high national position. Dr. Davidson is also on the faculty of Department of Psychiatry at Yale Medical School. The Recovery to Practice Initiative is a five‐year federal project to broaden and increase awareness, acceptance, and adoption of recovery principles and practices among mental health providers. I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr Davidson recently. He is just finishing an article co-authored with some OTs.

His keynote address will present ways in which “occupational therapy already meets many of the essential criteria for the provision of transformed mental health care”. Wow! What an advocate for our profession!

David  Merlo,  Professor,  Erie Community CollegeApril 23, 2011
Buffalo, NY

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