Therapy campaign launched to improve health and ease loneliness

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) has launched its first ever public health campaign in hopes to help people improve their health after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The campaign, ‘Lift up your everyday with occupational therapy (OT) Life Hacks’ is in aid of Occupational Therapy Week, which will run from 7-13th November 2022, and is designed to help people regain motivation or overcome new or existing challenges to keep doing the things they love.   

woman wearing black t-shirt

Representing over 35,000 members across the UK, RCOT completed research into the health sector which drove their desire to launch their programme.  

RCOT found NHS Digital reported 1 million hospital admissions in 2020 due to obesity and the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported 3.7 million people in the UK have reported feeling lonely – 1 million more than before the pandemic.

Like all areas of healthcare, occupational therapists have experienced an increase in demand for their services, with an 85% increase in the number of people seeking children’s services and an 82% increase in demand for rehabilitation services, according to RCOT surveys conducted this year.

Every day during occupational therapy week, new hacks will be shared to the campaign website in the form of bite-sized videos and shared across social media using the hashtag ‘OT Hacks’. They have been created to help adults, young people and children at home, school and work. 

The first series of hacks will include advice for elderly people on maintaining muscle tone, which is important for preventing falls and keeping independence.

Occupational therapists will also provide advice for parents, such as encouraging ‘messy play’ to help boost self confidence in young children, many of whom were deprived of social engagement due to lockdown restrictions.

Karin Orman, Director of Practice and Innovation at RCOT said: ‘Often, it’s the things we love to do which can most benefit our health and wellbeing, such as a walk with a friend, dancing or having the family round for a home cooked meal. That’s why our advice is practical, achievable and meant to be fun.

‘We hope this campaign will encourage everyone to take steps towards improving their health which, in turn, will help reduce pressures on health services for illnesses and conditions.

‘Those choices, from hobbies and exercise to food choices and opportunities to socialise, have been limited in recent times, and this has had a detrimental impact on many of our lives.

‘But now, many of these limitations have gone and we believe it’s the right time to refocus our attentions on making positive changes to improve our health and wellbeing.’ 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic young people’s mental health has deteriorated, with particular councils funding projects to help. RCOT’s ‘OT Campaign’ should also help provide a bit of fun during these distressing times. 

Photo by Meelan Bawjee


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