As mental health care has progressed, the recovery model has become increasingly prominent. This acknowledges that "recovery" or progress is a long term process with the long term goal being full participation in community activities, including education. The recovery model and occupational therapy work well together as occupational therapy aims to enable people to engage in meaningful activity (i.e. education). In other words, occupational therapy facilitates participation and is client-centred.
Occupational therapists are able to work with children and adolescents, supporting them to develop strategies to manage mood, anxiety, anger, self harming behaviours, suicidal thoughts and symptoms of post traumatic stress as well as symptoms of other mental health difficulties. Attachment problems can also be addressed. For younger children, play is frequently used as the therapeutic medium.
Open Arms occupational therapists have significant experience in working with children and adolescents with mental health and emotional well-being issues in an education setting. Open Arms is sympathetic to the challenges that education staff face when supporting children with these difficulties and also offer training for Teachers, SENDCo's and Teaching Assistants.