Tips for Work Transitions for the Newly Unemployed American Occupational Therapy Association Tip Sheet

Article excerpt

Engagement in meaningful and productive employment is important to health and ability to participate fully in everyday life. Work provides structure to daily routines and provides support for people to achieve their potential. Work also meets the basic financial needs to enable full participation. When a person experiences unexpected and unplanned job loss or loss of work, the physical health, emotional health and general well-being of the worker and their entire family is affected.

Loss of work has a cascading effect, disrupting daily routines, causing financial instability, weakening social connections, and diminishes self worth by erasing a person's work identity. Becoming unemployed begins a time period of uncertainty and change. It affects both men and women of all races, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Increased stress, anxiety and worrying about the ability to manage present difficulties and cope with the future unknowns can be overwhelming. But there are answers.

Occupational therapy practitioners can provide support during this transition for workers and families and promote the process of regaining employment.


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Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 140,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA's major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, visit

The American Occupational Therapy Association* 4720 Montgomery Lane * Bethesda, MD 20814-3425 * 301-652-AOTA (2682)

RELATED ARTICLE: What can an occupational therapy practitioner do?

* Recognize the realm and unique extent of the losses for each worker and family.

* Recognize the health and well-being needs of the family as well as the worker that must be met during the transition back to work. …


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