OTAC’s Annual School-Based OT Symposium will be fully virtual (via Zoom) this year, and will be taking place on Saturday, September 11 from 9am to 4pm. The focus of this year’s symposium is “Promoting Excellence in School-Based Practice with a Focus on Mental Health”. You can earn up to 6.5 PDUs! For more information, visit the OTAC website.
Please take a quick moment to ask your member of Congress to co-sponsor The Mental Health Professionals Workforce Shortage Loan Repayment Act (S.1578/H.R.3150) which will Expand Access to Mental Health Services and Increase Opportunities for Occupational Therapy in Mental Health. https://cqrcengage.com/aota/app/write-a-letter?0.Continue reading “Support the Mental Health Professionals Workforce Shortage Loan Repayment Act”
Anne MacRae passed away Sunday, May 23rd in her home in San Francisco. She was an essential member of POTAC and she will be dearly missed. She was a fearless activist and tireless advocate for psychosocial occupational therapy. Anne was passionate about creating opportunities for occupational therapy in marginalized and under-resourced communities. She traveled the world and received the Fulbright Scholarship in 1997, teaching and consulting on the mental health curriculum at the University of Malta. She was SJSU faculty for over 30 years and adjunct faculty at Dominican University of California. Anne has co-edited 4 editions of the OT textbook: Psychosocial Occupational Therapy: An Evolving Practice, with the 5th edition currently in press. She has led or participated in many Friday Forums and Symposia for POTAC, including:
1997: “International Occupational Therapy: Anne MacRae’s Experience in Malta”
1999: “An International Perspective on Occupational Therapy”
2000: “Increasing Your Cultural Awareness”
2002: “A Facilitated Discussion: The Controversy of Crafts”
2003: “The Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process”
2005: “Psychosocial Issues of the Older Adult”
2017: “The OT Role in Work Readiness Program Development and Delivery”
Long term members of the POTAC steering committee will remember having spirited discussions in her living room over homemade bread. She opened up her mind, heart and home to POTAC. SJSU created a video montage you can access. Below are a few words about Anne but words can never say enough about what she meant to POTAC and the profession of OT.
Anne was my professor at SJSU and inspired me to dedicate my career to mental health. Her words of wisdom often still resonate…25 years later. I had the pleasure of being at several POTAC meetings with her in the last several years and she continued to be a driving force in her passion for psychosocial OT. She will certainly be missed. (Susan Fisher)
During my first week as an OT student at SJSU, I vividly remember meeting Dr. MacRae. Her energy, love of mental health, and warmth was palpable and I knew after listening to her lecture that I wanted to go into mental health. I chose her Psychosocial Clinic in my last sequence, joined the POTAC Steering Committee in 1996 just after graduation, and was fortunate to witness that same aura and drive from her whenever she was present in our meetings. When I shared the news with my cohort, the most common word to describe her was “inspired/inspirational.” She certainly was mine. (Terry Bowman)
I really owe the fact of my academic career to her, in that she encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone, share what I had done with other OT’s, and teach my first class at SJSU. She was also, of course, very active in POTAC, and also taught here for a while. I co-authored a chapter in the first edition of her book on mental health OT. I knew her as a caring and committed OT, dedicated to the service of those with mental illness, especially serious and persistent mental illness. (Ruth Ramsey)
She was one of the original members of POTAC (the Psych. OT Action Coalition) in its early years, and over the years she has been an inspiration and strong contributor to our members and the whole field of mental health occupational therapy. (Eileen Auerbach)
Anne was such a wonderful community based mental health advocate (Patrice Svoyak)
Anne inspired me and made me feel proud to be an OT. She was a role model, a cheerleader, and a wonderful advocate for OT in mental health, encouraging OT’s to develop new roles in previously unfilled ones. She said that there are jobs for OT’s, but you may have to be the one to create it. She was warm and nurturing, never talked down; she was filled with ideas for us.
To our Asian and Asian-American OT colleagues, clients, and other members of our community: at this time of grief and anger and stress, know that POTAC stands with you. Please draw on these resources for support. And let use know how POTAC can support. Hate and violence impact our mental health and our occupational engagement, and this is part of our role as OT to eliminate barriers to occupation and fight for justice for all. https://www.potac.org/resources
The attack on the United States Capitol has no place in our country or in mental health occupational therapy. The events that took place caused physical and mental/emotional harm both to those who were present and those watching. POTAC upholds the values for trauma informed care, and acknowledges that attacks on our democracy and acts of white supremacy can traumatize or re-traumatize others, especially our BIPOC community. The AOTA Code of Ethics (2020) states that occupational therapy practitioners shall “not engage in actions that are uncivil, intimidating, or bullying or that contribute to violence (p. 26).”
The Psychiatric Occupational Therapy Action Coalition (POTAC) recognizes that oppression of rights, representation and systemic discrimination exist, and that change begins with each of us. Anti-racism, anti-oppression starts with an awareness of thoughts, language, and actions. These actions include actions that are uncivil. Such awareness should lead to the necessary, but difficult discussions and actions in order to positively change the mental health community and the profession of occupational therapy.
POTAC remains committed to be actively involved working to end racism and to provide social and occupational justice for all marginalized groups. Attacking democracy attacks our occupations as citizens and negatively impacts our rights to engage freely in our occupations without fear or threats of violence.
Please see OTAC’s Statement on January 6, 2021 Rioting at the
United States Capitol