If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?
The World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) is the key international representative of occupational therapists and occupational therapy. The Federation believes that occupational therapy has a valuable contribution to make to occupational performance as it affects the health and well-being of all people.
This presentation will examine some of the challenges faced by occupational therapists globally in the response to COVID 19. Occupational therapists need to move beyond traditional boundaries and be leaders of progress. As occupational therapists we need to develop the capacity and power to construct our own destiny – to challenge our thinking, our constructs and our sphere of influence. Being included in the society in which we live is vital to the material, psychosocial, and political aspects of empowerment that underpin social well-being and equitable health. (WHO 2008)
Occupational therapists’ increasing involvement in community-based rehabilitation and disaster preparedness and response – most recently the COVID 19 pandemic – is based on the concept of social entrepreneurship. Working directly with communities on projects that are meaningful to each community, having influence on local and higher health and policy makers, and working with non-government organisations (NGOs) positions occupational therapists as having a unique contribution to the goals of a civil society.
Occupational therapists need to understand the vital role they play in what makes populations healthy. What business entrepreneurs are to the economy, social entrepreneurs are to social change. They are the driven, creative individuals who question the status quo, respond to new opportunities and refuse to give up – and remake the world for the better. We need to strive to take our rightful place as agents of social change and equity.