Occupational Therapy

Mental Health / Anxiety

Our child’s mental health can impact their ability to perform self care, productivity and leisure activities. It can impact their ability to communicate and develop relationships with others, and influence their behavior, in and out of their home. Compared to before the COVID 19 Pandemic, the mental health of adults, adolescents and children have suffered. Symptoms of anxiety, depression and traumatic stress have increased throughout. School closures, lockdowns, isolation from social connection, and caregiver stress have shown to contribute to increases in anxiety and depression in many populations across the globe. Occupational Therapists are uniquely situated in helping you and your family cope with mental health challenges. Until the age of 25, young minds are still in development. For this reason, many traditional cognitive approaches will be of little help. Occupational therapists are trained to use a full body, nervous system approach to help young ones and their families have some tools to increase joy, connection, regulation, and function within their bodies and minds.

What are signs your child could benefit from an occupational therapist?

  • Emotional dysregulation challenges (having frequent breakdowns or meltdowns)
  • Behavioral challenges (in school and/or home environments)
  • History of trauma impacting relationships, behavior or day to day function 
  • Showing signs of anxiety (hard time focusing, sleeping, trying new things, socializing, paired with hard time ‘slowing down’)
  • Appear to have decreased self worth or self esteem
  • Self injurious behavior occurring 
  • You want to learn how to support your child in their mental illness 
  • Constantly seeking a caregiver and seemingly unwell/having hard time when caregiver not around
  • Seeking to control their environment and those in it

In a nutshell

Here are a few ways an occupational therapist can help:

  • Be the ‘detective’ in finding out what’s going on with your child
  • Help provide strategies, support and education for caregivers and your child
  • Help your child gain control of their bodies and their bodies responses 
  • Work towards minimizing or resolving barriers to optimizing mental health outcomes in different environments 
  • Find out if and which other professionals are relevant and would benefit your child