The Royal College of Occupational Therapists have released a report recently about the benefits of Occupational Therapy in helping to get clients back into work. It highlights the cost effective nature of the work done, and the benefits seen to society, as well as to the individual when returning to work.
Occupational Therapists are the only healthcare professionals trained in combining the assessment and treatment of physical and mental aspects needed for occupation, so we are uniquely placed to provide across the board assistance for not only day to day living, but in finding the correct path back into the workplace for an individual’s needs.
Getting back to work can make a huge change, in many more ways than the obvious financial gain. It can help to provide Self Worth, a sense of identity, a routine, and structure, social contact, as well as providing a sense of purpose and achievement.
Between 2016 and 2017 GPs provided 8 – 9 million sick notes, approximately 93% of which stated that the person involved was not able to work. Very few stated that the person could work with some adjustments. This is the area where increased access to Occupational Therapy could make a huge difference, as trained specialists we can work out exactly what clients are capable of through tools like task analysis. We can then enable changes for the client, the workplace or both, to help assist a return to work.
Of course in some cases a change of job may be required, but Occupational Therapists are trained to assist here as well.