Editorial  |   May 2011
Special Issue: Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Services in Mental Health Practice
Article Information
Mental Health / From the Desk of the Editor
Editorial   |   May 2011
Special Issue: Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Services in Mental Health Practice
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2011, Vol. 65, 235-237. doi:10.5014/ajot.2011.001339
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2011, Vol. 65, 235-237. doi:10.5014/ajot.2011.001339
This special issue on the effectiveness of occupational therapy services in mental health practice was compiled in an attempt to further build the evidence supporting the profession’s contribution to this practice area. How did we lose our footing in mental health practice when the profession was once considered to be one of the most valued services for people with mental health disorders? In the period between World War I and World War II, occupational therapy services were considered to be an essential component of the treatment arsenal for people with psychiatric disorders (Ellsworth, 1983; Gutman, 1995; Wish-Baratz, 1989). Our profession grew out of the Moral Treatment era in the early 19th century—a movement based on the idea that people with psychiatric disorders should be treated humanely and in safe and sanitary environments (Peloquin, 1989; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999). Providing people with occupations that could engage their minds and interests—and quiet impulsivity and anxiety, even temporarily—was, at that time, considered to be one of the most effective treatments for adults with chronic mental illness (Levine, 1987).
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