The Mental Health Special Interest Section (MHSIS) provides a networking and information forum for occupational therapy practitioners providing services to address mental health disorders and psychosocial dysfunction in a wide range of settings. It was one of the five original SISs created by AOTA in 1977 (the others were Developmental Disabilities, Gerontology, Physical Disabilities, and Sensory Integration).
Mental health occupational therapy practice cuts across many venues—psychiatric inpatient and outpatient facilities; general hospitals; and community settings such as case management organizations, clubhouse models, transitional living programs, homeless shelters, vocational training programs, home care, pediatric residential care, and well-elderly centers. Emerging practice arenas addressing mental health issues and demonstrating innovative occupational therapy intervention include school systems, employee assistance programs, and private practice.
The MHSIS provides a forum for networking with other practitioners, promoting mental health practice, sharing information, and accessing clinical resources. AOTA members have the opportunity to interact on an active forum that addresses a wide range of issues pertinent to the profession. The MHSIS strives to support the membership by informing practitioners about evidence-based practice, legislative issues, payment systems, research, and recruitment and retention issues.
MHSIS Standing Committee (Term of Office, 2012-2015)
Linda M. Olson, PhD, OTR/L: Chairperson
Lisa Tekell, MS, OTR/L, OTD: Professional Development Coordinator (Forums)
Kendra Garcia, COTA/L: Professional Development Coordinator (Education/Research)
Brad Egan, OTD, MA, OTR/L: Quarterly Editor
Mental Health Special Interest Section Quarterly Newsletter
Mental Health SIS Discussion Forum (open to all AOTA members)
Sensory Approaches in Mental Health Care Forum (open to all AOTA members)
To join MHSIS, contact AOTA Membership at 301-652-2682, ext. 2769 or toll-free at 1-800-SAY-AOTA (1-800-729-2682).