The Occupational Therapy in Mental Health Act calls for inclusion of occupational therapy in the definition of Mental Health Professional by the National Health Service Corp (NHSC). Not only will this provide greater access to the specialized skills of occupational therapy for individuals with mental illness but OTs working in Mental Health would be eligible to participate in the NHSC loan forgiveness program.
In early May the Strengthening Mental Health in our Communities Act was introduced in the House of Representatives and includes a number of provisions that include ones to expand and improve upon mental health services and developing the behavioral health workforce. This bill, similarly to the Occupational Therapy in Mental Health Act, calls for the inclusion of occupational therapy in the definition of mental and behavioral health professionals. The inclusion of occupational therapy in this bill is strong recognition for the important role that occupational therapy plays in mental health assessment and treatment.
We are calling on our members to keep abreast of this important issue and to write to members of Congress in supporting the Occupational Therapy in Mental Health Act. For more information on this issue please follow this link to AOTAs Legislative Action Center: