News / World OT Day
Tuesday 27 October 2020

World Occupational Therapy Day: The value of Occupational Therapy to wounded veterans’ recovery

Posted by: Help For Heroes

Occupational Therapy (OT) at Help for Heroes provides practical support to veterans in order to help them manage their daily life when the impact of their injury might be getting in the way.


‘Occupation’ means ‘activity’ and OT helps veterans recover from health issues through activities that are meaningful to them. OT can help veterans to overcome any barriers that may be preventing their recovery and sometimes it isn’t until we can no longer do the things that we usually do, that we realise how important they are to us and our wellbeing!


Occupational Therapists understand that all people have an inherent need to ‘do’. When we are prevented from doing the things we want or need to be able to do it stands to reason that our physical and mental health can suffer. This limitation on activity and achievement can affect all of us but those we support at Help for Heroes can be at increased risk due to the nature of their injury or illness. Being able to do the activities that matter to them, helps veterans gain a sense of identity and purpose post injury or illness. It is important to be clear, that when we refer to ‘Activities’ we don’t just mean hobbies, but include the daily living activities you might not even think about until your health impacts them. ‘Activities’ such as, getting washed in the morning, making meals/hot drinks, participating in family life, accessing your community, or getting the shopping done.


Occupational Therapy enables and empowers veterans to find strategies and solutions to help them develop a good routine of personal and daily tasks that fit their lifestyle. Doing this helps to create a sense of purpose and can enhance their recovery journey. Our support can be provided through one to one sessions, within a group setting or virtually over ‘Microsoft Teams’ and home visits are also offered if needed.


One veteran our Occupational Therapist Alex has supported with an online sleep course said: "The course has exceeded my expectations and has been incredibly useful to understand how my sleep has previously been affected by my own worries and mis understandings. I really enjoyed learning about the scientific evidence behind some of the ‘old wives tales’ and then being able to apply these to my own sleep worries.  Every session was enjoyable and taught me something new.”


What benefit does OT have for the wounded veterans we support at Help for Heroes?


  • Breadth of support to our veterans as all our OT’s are dual trained to work with physical and mental health

  • Support in setting realistic goals which individuals can work towards.

  • Helping individuals identify and participate in meaningful activities that will assist with recovery

  • Guidance on how to develop coping strategies to support the lifestyle wounded veterans want to have

  • Help to identify strengths and difficulties individuals may have in everyday life whilst doing activities

  • Financial support to modify homes to accommodate health needs.


What can Occupational Therapy from Help for Heroes support with?


  • Problems sleeping

  • Difficulty getting things done due to fatigue and tiredness

  • Structuring a veteran’s day

  • Developing relaxation strategies

  • Education around long-term conditions to help individuals to learn to live with their diagnosis

    Adapting a veteran’s home to accommodate their health needs

  • Any restriction on activity or daily living that is affecting a veteran’s health


At Help for Heroes, we remain absolutely committed to our wounded and their families and have adapted our services in order to be able to continue to provide much needed support during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Find out more about the services we deliver and how we have adapted throughout lockdown here.