Tamil Nadu

Occupational therapists want to be part of COVID-19 team, seek gazette notification

Members say they can reduce stress and deflect people from suicidal thoughts

Occupational therapists in the State want the government to issue a gazette notification on the lines of the Kerala government to enable them to be part of the team of therapists treating COVID-19 patients.

The 34-page document of Kerala’s Social Justice department clearly delineates the purpose of various therapies and the regulatory mechanism required for their functioning as stand-alone institutions.

The notification that was issued on June 11 by the Kerala government explains the requirements of a person with disability. The document includes physiotherapy, speech therapy for autism, occupational therapy and support for people with mental health issues.

P. Vanchinathan, president of the Tamil Nadu Occupational Therapists Association, said the need for therapy was great during the ongoing pandemic. “We will provide leisure and recreational activities to reduce stress and deflect patients from suicidal thoughts besides helping them with maintaining personal hygiene and teaching them to remain safe,” he explained.

The association has prepared a list of services the therapists can offer, including improving self hygiene and practising precautionary methods.

“We forwarded this to both the Central and the State governments. Now that we hear more and more of people having suicidal thoughts it is time the government paid attention to the need for therapy,” he said.

There are plenty of jobs for occupational therapists, said P. Raghuram, president/convenor of the State branch of All India Occupational Therapists Association. Nine private institutions in the State that run four-year undergraduate programmes in occupational therapy recently announced admission process for the current academic year. This indicated that there is a good demand for the speciality, he said.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 11:53:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/occupational-therapists-want-to-be-part-of-covid-19-team-seek-gazette-notification/article31946444.ece

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