#OTandMe Celebrates World Occupational Therapy Day
University College Cork’s Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy will host an ‘OT over Tea’ event to mark World Occupational Therapy day on Tuesday October 27th.
Tuesday will also see the department launch a social media campaign entitled #OTandMe in which Occupational Therapists (OTs) from across the world, and members of the public are asked to post a short video, a photo or a message about their experience of Occupational Therapy.
The overall aim of this campaign is to clarify public perception as to what Occupational therapy (OT) is, its goals and the impact that it has on both individuals and communities. OT is a client centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well-being through occupation which enables people to participate in the activities of everyday life. OTs achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement.
The importance of OT was commented upon by UCC Quercus Scholar Joanne O’Riordan whilst in UCC’s College of Medicine and Health last week. Joanne remarked that “my relationship with OT has been invaluable in that it has allowed me to make an impact, feel important and worthwhile about myself. My Occupational Therapist was always there whenever I needed something, no matter how big or small it was.” When asked if she had a message to practicing OTs, Joanne stated that “Whilst it must be an incredibly challenging job from time-to-time, it must, above all else, be incredibly rewarding knowing that you’ve not only helped a person, but made a difference in somebody else’s life and allowed them to live a life to the best of their potential.”
Dr Eithne Hunt, Lecturer in the Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science comments that “OT over Tea is the perfect activity to celebrate World Occupational Therapy Day, as Occupational Therapy is all about the everyday activities and occupations that are part of people's lives. Illness, disability, ageing and lots of other barriers can prevent people from doing what it is they need, want and have to do. OTs work with people to overcome any such barriers and enable people to participate fully as members of community and society. Being able to participate in daily activities to the best of one’s ability brings meaning to life and enhances well-being. We chose Age Action Care and Repair Programme Cork City and Pieta House Cork to be beneficiaries of our event as these groups know well the importance of ordinary and extraordinary daily activities such as making a cup of tea and having someone to share it with. We are very grateful to Cork businesses Zone Digital, Idaho Café, The Workshop Tearoom and Castlemartyr Resort for their generous sponsorship and support.”
The event is also being used as an opportunity to mark the 50th anniversary of the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland (AOTI) which is the professional body for Occupational Therapists in the Republic of Ireland. The AOTI provides national leadership to its members and works on behalf of its members with the best interest of the profession and service users in mind.