October 2022: Recognizing the Role of Work-Focused Occupational TherapistsOct 03, 2022
As a team of work-focused Occupational Therapists, we have a lot of talented professionals to celebrate and important dates to recognize this month. What makes Gowan OTs unique is their expertise in all things stay at work and return to work, including ergonomics, mental health, and disability management. This diverse skillset makes our OTs the ideal health professionals to work with employees and employers to create sustainable health and productivity solutions. In October, we recognize the variety of health concerns millions of people face every day and the work Occupational Therapists do to improve the lives of employees at home and at work.
Here is an overview of the health awareness days we are recognizing this month:
National Occupational Therapy Month & World OT Day
Every October we recognize Occupational Therapists and the work they do to help employees get back in the game of life at home and work. These health professionals work collaboratively with workplace parties to support employees with physical, mental, cognitive, and workplace performance concerns stay at work or return to work. October 27th is also World OT Day!
Global Ergonomics Month & World Spine Day
This month is a global initiative to bring awareness of ergonomics and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs can cause mild to severe discomfort and pain, impacting both employee health and productivity. Occupational Therapists assess the work, workplace, and the worker to provide preventative strategies, equipment recommendations, and follow ups to improve health outcomes over the long term. On October 16th, we also recognize World Spine Day, a global campaign that highlights the burden of spinal disorders and the need for spinal healthcare services worldwide. When assessing an employee’s ergonomic positioning, the position of the back is one of the areas, among others, that an Occupational Therapist assesses in order to help prevent back pain or injury.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to raise awareness about the importance of inclusive work environments and to recognize the positive impact employees with disability have on the workplace. Occupational Therapists help identify and remove barriers for employees with disabilities within all stages of the work lifecycle to allow them to participate and engage in their roles successfully.
Mental Illness Awareness Week & World Mental Health Day
Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 2-8, 2022) is an annual national public education campaign created to bring awareness to the reality of mental illness. Millions of Canadians live with mental illnesses every day, and people experience a wide variety of symptoms and challenges. World Mental Health Day (October 10, 2022) is focused on raising awareness of mental health issues and bringing attention to the efforts needed to bring mental healthcare to people worldwide. Mental health is health – which is why Occupational Therapists take a holistic view of the work, worker, and workplace to understand and reduce all potential barriers to employee success. Occupational Therapists also help those struggling with mental health to take ownership of their function and productivity through activity- and strategy-based solutions.
Invisible Disabilities Week
From October 16th to 22nd, advocates educate the public about the challenges people with invisible disabilities face and the progress society needs to make towards acceptance. Invisible disabilities are physical, mental, or neurological conditions that are not visible from the outside but can have a significant impact on the ability to perform day-to-day activities. Raising awareness about invisible conditions is the first step towards inclusivity. Occupational Therapists can help reduce barriers for employees with disabilities through education, treatment, and advocacy, working with all workplace stakeholders to ensure long-lasting support is in place.