I always love seeing the flutter of activity that occurs when it’s time to celebrate occupational therapy (OT) month!
Let’s be real: the holistic lens that OTs bring to healthcare is desperately needed—and that’s why it’s always worth shouting occupational therapy’s benefits from the roof tops.
I’ve put together 10 ideas below, and you can use them as inspiration to celebrate OT in the ways that matter to you most. We’ve also included downloads and links to the resources to help you get celebrating right away! 🙂
Wait? When, exactly, is OT Month?
For OTs in the United States, OT Month occurs during April. The theme this year is: “Empowering Everyday Lives.”
But, OT celebrations take place throughout the year around the globe. If I am missing the celebration in your country or region, please let me me know!
- World Occupational Therapy Day – October 27th
- Canada: Occupational Therapy Month – October
- UK: Occupational Therapy Week – The first week of November
- Argentina: Occupational Therapy Day – September 10th
- Mexico: Occupational Therapy Day – July 5th
- US: Occupational Therapy Month – April
- Australia: OT Week – Starts the 3rd Sunday in October
10 ideas for celebrating OT!
1.) Spread the word about what we do!!
OT Month is the perfect time to share information about our profession with your friends, family, and colleagues. Here are some resources we’ve created over the years; they were specifically crafted for you to help inform others about what we do in our wonderful profession:
The Occupational Therapy Month Toolkit
In this handy toolkit of files, you just might find the piece you need for your wall, bulletin board, handout, postcard or PowerPoint presentation.
The Complete Guide to Occupational Therapy (blog post)
The “What is OT?” Guide was crafted specifically with clients and prospective OTs in mind! It is an overarching resource for people who are curious about who we are, what we do, how we’re educated, the scope of our profession, and the rationale behind our interventions.
An Explanation of OT (video)
This short video was created to help illustrate the how, the what, and the why of occupational therapy. Feel free to share it with your friends, family, and even patients!
2.) Share OT inspiration
OT Month is a great time to share inspiration with clients and fellow colleagues! These quotes were formatted for use on Instagram—feel free to share them! You can find my other favorite OT quotes here.
3.) Share information about OT history
I am a big believer in the value of taking time to learn from history. Set time aside this month to learn more about our profession. If you need a starting point, here are 10 of my favorite moments from OT history!
4.) Make OT cookies (and other sweets!)
Let’s be honest, snacks are probably one of the best ways to draw people into your wonderful OT space.
Invite your colleagues to stop by during lunch (or on a specific afternoon), share some yummy OT treats with them, and take advantage of a captive audience!
You can make their stomachs happy while you distribute information about your occupational therapy offerings!
5.) Set professional goals
You can also use OT Month as a time to look at your profession from your own holistic lens. You can set short-term goals and long-term goals, and make achievable milestones that provide you with agency over your own career path!
6.) Host an OT get-together
I have been lucky enough to work with some really fantastic teams over the years.
Something I have noticed is that the most dynamic teams had a habit of getting together outside of work.
Hosting a get-together could be as simple as picking a time and restaurant where you meet with other OTs for a quick happy hour. You could also consider having coworkers over for dinner or brunch.
It’s tempting to go crazy with creative crafting ideas to bring out the best in your OT friends—but, really, no agenda is necessary. Simply create a space to relax and enjoy each others’ company without the pressure of productivity!
7.) Decorate your workspace
There’s a reason why people go crazy with decorations during Christmas and Halloween.
The right decor can truly warm up a room and bring a smile to everyone’s face.
Why not do that for your workspace to honor OT Month?
Whether you are looking at permanent decorations, or you just want to take five minutes to draw on a white board, any environment can benefit from some OT-related cheer. In the free toolkit linked above, you’ll find some posters and handouts that might just do the trick!
8.) Buy OT swag!!
9.) Host a Lunch and Learn
It’s funny how rarely I actually see the doctors who approve my plans of care and send referrals.
I’ve only done a Lunch and Learn once for the doctors at my clinic, but one of the main benefits was simply connecting in person.
My presentation had about six slides––and it focused on services we offered, but were underutilized. I noticed an instant uptick in referrals after this.
10.) Give the gift of the OT Potential Club!
The OT Potential Club is our evidence-based practice platform. It is our “happy place,” where occupational therapy professionals can earn CEUs, discuss new research, share treatment ideas, celebrate wins, and support each other during tough times.
OT Month is a great time to give the gift of the OT Potential Club to a fellow OT professional. You can learn more about giving the Club as a gift here.
There are countless ways to honor the occupational therapy profession during OT Month. This article features some of my favorites, but I’m sure many of you have your own ideas and traditions.
Please share your ideas in the comments below; we would love to learn additional ways to spread the joy of the best profession on earth! 🙂