Occupational Therapy for Armed Forces Members, Veterans and their Families (OTAFMVF)



Introduction

In Canada, Occupational Therapists (OT) have a long, proud history of working with active Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) military members and Veterans that date back to the Great War. Presently, OTs are actively working in multiple capacities and domains of health to provide assessment, treatment, and services to military members, Veterans, and their families to assist with their overall health and well-being. Due to the wide range of OTs across our nation working with this population, and the need to increase promotion, education, and communication regarding this great work, the Occupational Therapy for Armed Forces Members, Veterans and their Families (OTAFMVF) Network by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapist has been developed.

OTAFMVF Mission

To promote quality research and evidence-based occupational therapy services to Armed Forces Members, Veterans and their families by promoting, advocating and connecting occupational therapist across the Canada.

OTAFMVF Vision

To create a dynamic network for the Occupational Therapy community across Canada who have an interest in occupational therapy services for Armed Forces Members, Veterans, and their families

OTAFMVF Objectives

The OT Network, OTAFMV, has several proposed overarching objectives which include the following:

1.      Promotion of:

a.      OT within VAC, CAF, government and the greater community through educating and demonstrating the utility and scope of OT;
b.      Greater understanding of the unique needs of military members, veterans, and their families.

2.      Education of Canadian OTs on the unique strengths, barriers, needs, and culture of CAF, Veterans and their families by:

a.      Promoting research for military, veterans, and their families;
b.      Providing a platform for information dissemination, discussion, and resource sharing.

3.      Connection and enhanced collegial support amongst Canadian OTs who work, or are interested in working, with these populations.

Activities

The activities of the network will depend on its specific membership needs. Plans for year 1 will be determined once the network has convened in an open meeting via teleconference.

Some example activities may include:

  1. Share information on research and guidelines and create accessible resources regarding OT services for CAF members and veterans in Canada.

  2. Creating a repository of outcome measures that can be used with CAF members and veterans interventions in OT research and practice that supports creation of real-world evidence.

  3. Setting up monthly video calls for members to share local projects, resources, research or practice evidence or discuss events that they have attended that may be of interest to the network.

  4. Through the CAOT network website, highlight practice and research contributions of CAOT members working with CAF members and veterans.  



Resources





Network Co-Chairs

Chelsea Jones,
Occupational Therapist, Canadian Armed Forces
Ph. D Cand. Heroes in Mind Advocacy and Research Consortium (HiMARC)
University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
cweiman@ualberta.ca 

Marie-France Lebeau
OP2 Occupational Therapist, Canadian Armed Forces
Ottawa, ON
Marie-France.Lebeau@forces.gc.ca  

To join the OTAFMVF Practice Network, please register at: https://forms.gle/bD4t4YcaZFNo8qNe7 

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