Mental Health Occupational Therapy Services

Occupational Therapists work in all areas of mental health including Wards, Day Hospital, Community Teams and Prison Healthcare to facilitate recover for those with mental health problems. The South Eastern Trust current employ 20+ Mental Health Occupational Therapy staff.

Assessments and interventions are provided via therapeutic group work (e.g. life-skills, Recovery groups, Creative Groups, Community Living Skills, Relaxation therapy, Cognitive Groups, Anxiety Groups etc.) and on a one-to-one basis to support individuals in all activities of daily living (self-care, work and leisure etc).



Occupational Therapists are recognised as one of the five key professions in health services assisting in the recovery of those with mental health problems.

"Occupational Therapy is recognised as an approach that uses activity to promote good mental health, assist recovery and help people achieve personally meaningful outcomes such as employment, self-care, and leisure. Timely occupational therapy interventions can prevent unnecessary hospital admission, decrease the number of incidents on inpatient wards facilitate early discharge ad support adults of working age to retain their jobs during an episode of mental illness" - COT 2006

Areas covered include:

  • Mental Health Inpatient units (Downe Hospital, Lagan Valley Hospital, & the Ulster Hospital)
  • Mental Health Day Hospital/Resource Centre (Downpatrick, Newtownards, Lisburn)
  • Downshire Hospital Inpatients Facilities
  • Community mental health teams (North Down and Ards Sector)
  • Eating Disorder Service (North Down & Ards Sector)
  • Slievegrane Rehabilitation Services (Down Sector)
  • Mental Health Services for Older People/ Dementia – Inpatient Facilities (Lagan Valley Hospital and Downe Hospital) & Community (Trust-wide)
  • Prison Health care


Referrals will be accepted in writing, email or verbally via Mental Health Assessment Centres/ Ward Rounds/ Multi-disciplinary Team Meetings/ Consultant Psychiatrists.


Jill Holden-Downes
Mental Health OT Manager (North Down and Ards Sector)
Telephone: (028) 9151 2156

Clare Sheridan
Mental Health OT Manager (Down/Lisburn Sectors)/ Dementia Services/ Prison Health
Telephone: (028) 4461 3311 ext. 3412/3292