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Mental Health Practices and Programs: Occupational Therapy Service Delivery within a Recovery Perspective

Mental Health Practices and Programs: Occupational Therapy Service Delivery within a Recovery Perspective
Anne MacRae, PhD, OTR/L, BCMH, FAOTA
March 3, 2016


All of the learning outcomes above are interrelated and Dr. Liz Cara began touching on a number of these yesterday in her course, Mental Health in Occupational Therapy: An OverviewI hope to pick up where Liz left off because she did a great introduction and an overview of what is going to happen this week during this Mental Health Virtual Conference.

Some of the points I want you to look at carefully on these learner outcomes that I will be addressing today is understanding the nuances of some of the language. I think there is a lot of confusion and a lot of misconceptions about what recovery actually means. A lot of people think they know what it means, but there are actually different forms of it, where OT fits in the psychiatric or mental health systems, and how that structure actually works. The more we understand the language that is used, the more we can advocate not only for ourselves, which is more marketing, but for people in recovery, people with serious mental illness. That is my goal for today.

I also want to point out that in addition to the PowerPoint, which was given to you as a downloadable handout, there are several others. In the interest of time, I always try and pack way too much into these things, I created some charts, a bibliography list, and a list of websites for additional resources. The charts in particular I will be referring to in this presentation but they can give you a lot more depth and background. I would read them, along with the PowerPoint, if you are going to take the quiz for CEU credits.

Now before I begin, I need to point out that service delivery, how we actually provide services, and the organization of mental health care does differ state to state, and certainly differs in other countries. I will try and point that out when I am talking specifically about my state of California versus what I think is happening in other states.

Service Delivery Organizational Structure-Basic Mental Health Services

Diagnoses and Psychotherapy

In terms of how service for mental health is delivered, the number one thing that has to happen or does happen is getting the ball rolling. That is done through an intake assessment process primarily to come up with a diagnosis and then develop a treatment plan or an intervention strategy around that. That usually is your foot in the door. If you cannot get that done, you cannot get services. This is particularly true within public mental health, but it is also true with private insurance as well. The people who do that are called Licensed Practitioners of the Healing Arts or LPHAs. Now this is a term that may be different in other states.

anne macrae

Anne MacRae, PhD, OTR/L, BCMH, FAOTA

Dr. MacRae is a professor emerita from San Jose State University in California. She supervised the campus-based psychosocial occupational therapy clinic for 20 years, and co-authored the premier occupational text, Psychosocial Occupational Therapy: An Evolving Practice, with Dr. Cara. Dr. MacRae also recently worked for Trinity County Behavioral Health Service and Wellness Centers as an occupational therapist and consultant. She is currently a consultant for the California Institute of Behavioral Health Services (CIBHS). Dr. MacRae is a recipient of multiple Fulbright Fellowships and engages in international consultation about occupational therapy and mental health care. She helped develop the University of Malta’s Occupational Therapy degree program, and worked with Malta’s Ministry of Health to improve services for people with mental illness.

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