Many people do not know what Occupational Therapy is. One issue the profession faces is that it is not well advocated for.
Many people don’t know what the occupational therapy is, therefore they will argue that they don’t need it since they don’t know what it is. The truth is, is that everyone can use OT in their lives. It is for every time in the lifespan. Due to people’s lack of knowledge, the profession is not recognized as well as it could be. Along with the lack of advocacy, not many different demographics are being introduced to OT in the professional side and the patient side. This is a difficult issue to solve because it would take a lot of work on many platforms to advocate for OT. One way to advocate for OT would to make it more accessible, and normal like physical therapy is.
I think that this is a recurring problem in the profession, that has gotten better, but is still not solved. Many people are referred to occupational therapists, especially young children and older adults that need helping living their daily lives to the best of their abilities. Many other ages can benefit from OT as well. I think that technology and social media has helped give OT more recognition, but it still is not well advocated for.
When I talk to people about occupational therapy, they are ignorant about the profession because they don’t understand the purpose and clientele. This is an issue for me because people aren’t accepting of my career because they’ve never opened themselves up to learning what it is. I want people to know about OT and be able to understand it because it is such a great profession and great tool that helps the lives of many people. I think a way that OT can be better advocated for is by introducing to workplaces and wellness centers as a resource.
When people ask what exactly OT is, they will many times clump it with physical therapy although it is not the same as physical therapy. It is hard to understand and explain OT unless you have been exposed to it. The majority of occupational therapists in general and OT’s who are writing about this topic and advocating for OT are generally white women. It is concerning for OT’s to know that they aren’t reaching everyone who needs their services. I like this article because it put occupational therapy in laypersons terms which made it easier to understand and more approachable.