Open Forum November 25, 2018 and Mental Health and Provisional Diagnosis

Regulated Members’ Open Forum November 25, 2018

You’re invited to participate in Council’s open forum on Sunday November 25, 2018 from 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon. This is your opportunity to bring forward issues, concerns, questions or any other matter you wish to share with Council, who welcome your engagement!

The open forum will be held at the ACOT office (312, 8925 51 Ave, Edmonton, AB T6E 5J3) and you are welcome to attend in person, by teleconference or videoconference. If you would like to participate, please R.S.V.P to Kirsten Ash at by Monday November 18th and let us know if you prefer to attend in person or join us via videoconference/teleconference.

We value your input, knowledge, and experiences and hope that you will join us at this open forum! If you have any questions about the open forum or require more information, please contact Interim Registrar, Peter Portlock, at E: or T: 780.436.8381 ext. 104.

For information, please note that Council is planning additional forum time at selected Council meetings in 2019, as well as a Council meeting in Calgary.

Mental Health and Provisional Diagnosis

Your Council is aware of the issues affecting many occupational therapists working in mental health in Alberta, particularly those in the role of the mental health therapist. We are now in discussion about how we can best move forward to ensure that OTs under legislation can practice to their full scope which includes the education that they have had regarding the DSM and provisional diagnosis, psychosocial interventions that create optimal function in their client. Education in Alberta has included courses in the DSM specifically. Recovery models that have been part of the curriculum since the 1980s, and core treatment concepts including motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy and dialetic behavior therapy (DBT) are part of current OT education. A variety of psychosocial interventions are included in both classroom and clinical experience; however, the provisional diagnosis is not specifically in our legislation under Schedule 15 of the Health Professions Act (HPA). However, that said, the HPA states that OTs “assess, analyze, modify and adapt the activities in which their clients engage to optimize health and functional independence, and provide restricted activities authorized by the regulations”. Many of these definitions are unclear, but utilized by education in daily practice. Therefore, we will continue to work with our practitioners and government decision makers to ensure we are working to full scope of practice, now and in the future.