New Sustainable Occupational Therapy Volunteer

Vivien De Greef's picture

Hi everyone, 

I’ve joined The Centre For Sustainable Healthcare as their new Occupational Therapy Volunteer and will be updating the resources on the webpages, writing a monthly post on the OT Susnet network, as well as generating content for the social media pages. 

A little about me - I am an Occupational Therapist from Australia and over the last few years I have worked in various mental health roles within the hospital and health service. I also spent 8 months in Madagascar providing disaster relief support, occupational therapy services and helped to set up the OT curriculum in the university there. 

For the last year I have been living abroad in Grenada with my partner and have become increasingly concerned about the climate crisis. We have been using social media to inspire and encourage others about ways to live and travel more sustainably. Through our platforms we have connected with various local businesses to help them become more sustainable. We also organised multiple country-wide beach and ocean cleanups, talked on the local radio about plastics effect on the island’s ecosystems and encouraged greener practices which are taking effect in various locations. As I’m passionate about sustainability, I was very excited to hear that the WFOT are encouraging Occupational Therapists to promote sustainable occupational performance and lifestyles. 

I’ve joined the centre for sustainable healthcare team as I believe Occupational Therapists have a great opportunity to be at the forefront of environmental sustainability and sustainable practice. I’m looking forward to connecting with likeminded health professionals, and learning the different ways we can utilise a sustainable lens in OT practice. 

Reflecting on my time working in the acute inpatient mental health ward, there were many opportunities to bring sustainability into practice. Whether it is by helping to reduce PRN medications (they have a big environmental footprint) by using sensory modulation, to reducing hospital stays by finding appropriate community living supports, or by discussing sustainability and healthy lifestyles during cooking groups. 

By using a sustainable lens in our practice there can be economic, social and environmental benefits, and I’m looking forward to hearing different ways that OT’s are already incorporating a sustainable lens in their practice and daily lives. 

In saying this, how have you incorporated sustainability into your workplace? Or do you see any ways that you could incorporate it? I would love to hear your examples, no matter how big or small the change is! 

 

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