Occupational therapy and Sustainability

Ida Valley

How do we as occupational therapists contribute to global sustainability?


5 responses to “Occupational therapy and Sustainability

  1. Interesting question: we have been looking at the same thing is midwifery. One answer was to recycle placentas!

  2. occupationaltherapyotago

    Nice one 🙂


  3. I feel great urgency about contributing to global sustainability. Looking at the big picture, this seems like the only thing that makes sense right now. I fear, there is no time for job retraining so the question how I, as occupational therapist, can contribute to this end is even more pressing.

    One thought I have is this: As a fundamental change in our “occupations” is called for, occupational therapists might contribute by teaching people concrete ways of living in a sustainable way, reducing their ecological footprint, and restoring the environment.

    I think, like myself, many people have a sense that they would like to do something to head of the crisis we are facing but don’t know how to actualize this intention. Occupational therapists may be in the position to show how.

    I would like to hear from others who are concerned about this.



  4. I was searching info with the key words of permaculture and occupational therapy, and i found your comment! I am Maki, Japanese OT, am planning to try self-sufficient living in three years from now. As an OT, you have to find or create place where challenged people are included and needed. According to the value judgement in the civilized society, what the most people care is speed, convenience, and money. And those who have handicaps are ignored or even worse treated cruelly. Yes, its more important now than quitting smoking or dieting program, its very fundamental thing to support our life.
    As the last comment was added in 2007, i am so worried my comment does not reach to you… Please.


  5. occupationaltherapyotago

    Hi Maki
    Lovely to hear from you. Here in New Zealand community gardens are becoming more prevalent with a number of community organisations e.g. mental health services, and those that work with people with intellectual disability developing up gardens using permaculture techniques. They use these to encouraging the development of gardening skills and therefore work skills with their clients. They also use the gardens to help provide fresh fruit and vegetables for those both in their organisation but also in the community who struggle finaincally to be able to purchase these. As occupational therapists one of the challenges however is that although we see that building our clients skills and abilities in relation to sustainablity as a useful skill for them to have, we need to ensure that it is their interst and desire that we consider and take care to make sure that we are not forcing on others what we believe is a good idea.

    I will be interested to see how your plan to try self-sufficiency goes.

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