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West London NHS Trust > Patients and carers > Treatments and medication > Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy

Mental illnesses can make it difficult for a person to carry out everyday tasks and activities. Occupational therapy uses specific and purposeful activities to promote independence and build the skills needed for everyday practical tasks.
It can help a person cope better with their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
An occupational therapist helps by:

  • Offering advice
  • Looking at how everyday tasks can be done differently
  • Recommending alterations or changes in the home
  • Helping with work-related issues.

Working directly with a person in an equal partnership, either alone or in a group, an occupational therapist looks at:

  • Daily living including cooking and hygiene
  • Education and work
  • Health and leisure activities.

Any suggestions take into account a person’s needs and personal preferences. The aim is to develop skills and coping strategies so that any issues do not stop a person from leading a fulfilling life. An occupational therapist can help a person look at ways they can work, study, develop relationships and participate more fully in society.
At WLMHT, occupational therapy services are available for:

  • People aged between 16-65 years who have severe and continuing mental health problems
  • People aged over 65 years who have a form of dementia.

We like carers and friends to be part of the therapy, if appropriate. Encouragement from them can make all the difference to a person’s success.