ECHN Celebrates April as Occupational Therapy Month

Apr 15, 2009 - 

For millions of people, the service of occupational therapy is a lifeline. People of all ages receive it to help them participate in the activities of their daily life. Sometimes people need occupational therapy to do things we take for granted, like getting dressed, being productive at school or work, eating unassisted, even socializing.

In recognition of the importance and value of occupational therapy in improving people's lives, Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN) is joining in the national observance of April as Occupational Therapy Month. ECHN offers a variety of occupational therapy programs in both its Rehabilitation Services and Behavioral Heath Services Departments, demonstrating the range and scope of situations in which occupational therapy can play an important role, including a Certified Hand Therapist - CHT).

Occupational therapy doesn't just treat medical conditions, it helps people stay engaged in the activities that give them pleasure or a sense of purpose, despite challenges. Occupational therapists do this by helping people surmount their disabilities or medical conditions to do everyday things. The nature of the therapy depends on the individual and their environment; occupational therapists consider the whole person when developing a therapy plan. Occupational therapists collaborate with physicians and other professionals to ensure a comprehensive approach.

Occupational therapy is "outcome-oriented," which means therapists help clients work toward achievable performance goals. In rehabilitation clinics or hospitals, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help adults learn or regain skills that allow them to do meaningful things like working, driving, shopping, even preparing a meal. All types of people need this kind of help everyday, from a worker injured on the job to a grandparent recovering from surgery or a stroke.

Occupational therapy helps avoid health problems, and makes it easier to live with them. Research proves that keeping people active and healthy as they age will improve their quality of life as well as lower their health care costs. That is why there are occupational therapy programs focusing on wellness and prevention—to help seniors stay healthier and remain active in their homes and communities.

Occupational therapy also plays an active role in the care of behavioral health patients. The Occupational therapists and assistants at ECHN's Behavioral Health Services are involved in identifying and supporting what is necessary for patients to succeed in community based living. Functioning as a member of the multi-disciplinary team, therapists develop, individualize and coordinate a patient's treatment maximizing their road to recovery and success in life.

Please contact any one of the locations listed below for any questions regarding Occupational Therapy Services at ECHN or to schedule an appointment. Please note that ECHN's occupational therapy services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, CIGNA, BC, Connecticare, Healthnet and Aetna:

Rehabilitation Services:

  • Manchester Memorial Hospital 647.6485
  • Rockville General Hospital 872.5261
  • The Rehab Center at Courthouse Plus 649.3369
  • Rehabilitation Services at Evergreen Walk 533.4670
  • Woodlake at Tolland Heath Care Center 872.2999

Behavioral Health:

  • Adolescent behavioral health program 647-6827
  • Adult behavioral health program 533-3434

The American Occupational Therapy Association is one of the nation's oldest health care societies, representing nearly 38,000 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and occupational therapy students who help people of all ages maximize their ability to function independently and accomplish the everyday things that allow them to participate in meaningful activities and events. AOTA members work in practice, policy, research, and education. Nearly one third of all occupational therapists work in schools. A significant number work in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, helping people to recover from injury or illness. Other practice areas include mental health, driver rehabilitation, health promotion, low vision therapy, aging in place, stress reduction, wellness, and ergonomics. AOTA serves its members and the public through advocacy, education, and publishing operations. AOTA also works to raise public awareness and understanding of occupational therapy. To find out more about occupational therapy and how it might help you, visit the American Occupational Therapy Association's Web site,

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