Message to Members Following the Connecticut Shootings
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) joins the rest of the nation in expressing our shock and sorrow following the tragic shootings in Connecticut on Friday, December 14, 2012.
For our many members working in school systems, your expertise in addressing mental and physical health through occupation will continue to be an essential service to students—a service that may be more challenging in the weeks and months ahead as students, school personnel, and families across the country struggle with ways to cope with the enormity of this event.
Occupational therapy offers an important contribution in mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention with children and youth. As practitioners, you support school-wide initiatives such as anti-bullying, target at-risk students for social participation, and intervene for those with a disability. During this time of crisis, occupational therapy practitioners can help to promote and maintain healthy school routines, social engagement, and stress management by facilitating all students’ participation in all school routines, including classroom activities, recess, the cafeteria, and appropriate clubs and activities.
AOTA resources to assist you include the School Mental Health Tool Kit
which contains information on specific topics, such as grief and loss, and depression. We also offer an FAQ on School Mental Health
, and Fact Sheets on Occupational Therapy and School Mental Health
and Mental Health in Children and Youth: The Benefit and Role of Occupational Therapy
. The textbook Mental Health Promotion, Prevention, and Intervention With Children and Youth: A Guiding Framework for Occupational Therapy
offers more in-depth information.