Initially, this observance day was known as WFOT Occupational Therapy International Day, until 2010 when it was renamed Occupation Therapy Day/World OT Day. The observation day became official and globally recognized in 2010.
The organization behind OT day is the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, WFOT, which provides a supportive community for occupational therapists globally with over 100 organizations and 580,000 occupational therapists in their membership program. Their key goals are to provide a "global voice for occupational therapists" and "set the standards" for OT practices. They want to educate their members with the latest industry news and techniques, delivering this via their approved education programs.
The World Federation of Occupational Therapists is pushing the focus this year on displaced persons and marginalized communities and how best to support them as occupational therapists.
This crucial topic is at the forefront of people's minds following shifts in the socioenvironmental climate following the recent events and those seeking refuge from Afghanistan.
World OT Day 2021 Theme
This year's World OT Day theme is "Belong. Be you.", which lends itself to their latest initiative. They are releasing content regarding diversity, adversity, and inclusion, and how we can work together to improve community relations and resilience. We all come across struggles in daily life. Some people in our local and global communities have a more challenging time overcoming adversity, recently highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement and the scenes in Kabul following the evacuation of troops in Afghanistan.
For some readers, you may be unaware of the essential work that occupational therapists do, especially concerning the above. Still, this blog will demonstrate how vital their role is in our communities and why we need to show our support.
Occupational therapists can help those living in crisis or transitioning to a new location after seeking asylum. They can utilize socio-political occupational therapy techniques to help patients further. They can help by giving a person structure to their daily lives to provide a sense of normalcy. Their work improves the patient's mental health and integration into their new local communities. Integration is paramount and can be acquired through education and bridging the gap between cultural differences. These techniques aim to develop the patient's independence.
As you can imagine, moving to a new area or even country, things can vary, from the types of food to the typical clothing fashions. It was not a choice for displaced humans to move, and the migration was involuntary or even coerced. These people could be fleeing persecution, war/conflict, and violations of their human rights. So, understanding culture is beneficial for all parties involved, especially as there may be a language barrier in the initial move.
If you are an OT and want to improve your knowledge surrounding this year's theme, there are two free courses available from the World Federation of Occupational Therapists website:
- WFOT Disaster Management for Occupational Therapists
- Occupational Therapy: Working with Displaced Persons
Get Involved in World OT Day 2021
You can be involved in World OT Day via the #WorldOTDay hashtag, post a picture of you celebrating at your practice, and help spread awareness. They also have some social media images and other content you can use to help promote World OT Day via their website.
Other hashtags you can use include:
The WFOT has partnered with PromOTing Occupational Therapy. Their theme is to "Pay it Forward", calling Occupational Therapist practitioners and students globally to volunteer some of their time to help make a difference in the world. They have also made a map detailing the countries that have taken part over the years.
If you are looking for some accounts to follow so you can share their content and join in on the conversation, be sure to view:
We Support World OT Day + Claim Your Free Gift
We want to give away a pack of 4 anti-slip coasters with any purchase. The drinks coasters are made from non-slip silicone, which prevents drinks from being easily knocked over and spilling. To claim the free gift, add the discount code FREECOASTEROTD at checkout. We hope you have enjoyed this blog and will get involved in this year's OT day. Make sure you don't miss out on other healthcare observation days and future free gifts by subscribing to our blog.
Please note, you must spend over £10 on the Tenura website to redeem the offer via the discount code. The promotion is running from 14/10/21 to 14/11/21.