How does Occupational Therapy help young people?

Occupational Therapy is about assisting people to function as best they can in meaningful activities in their environment.

How can we help you?

Greenhouse Health Hub really values working with people on what is important to them. Whether it be gaining employment or enrolling in education, taking up surfing or rock climbing, meeting new friends and re/learning how to socialise, improving self care or even working on sleep. Our occupational therapists are keen to help out, and will ensure that you’ll have fun in the process.

Common types of interventions:

  • Work or study
  • Self care and self maintenance
  • Leisure activities
  • Sleep
  • Time use and management
  • Adventure, music, creative or life skills groups
  • Telehealth
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What to expect

Surf Therapy for ASD

John is a 10 year old boy with a diagnosis of ASD Level 1, generalised anxiety and behavioural issues.  He was engaged heavily in gaming and screen time to the detriment of his basic self care tasks and activities of daily living.  He had limited interests beyond his games, Netflix and YouTube.  When his parents tried to set limits around his gaming John would lose control of his emotions, act out and start smashing things.

After rapport building, John decided to join his Greenhouse therapist and surf instructor for some surfing lessons.  Through surfing John explored and challenged certain sensory difficulties including sand and tight fitting clothes (rashie) in a safe manner.  He was gradually exposed to anxiety provoking situations and was equipped by his therapist to explore and use coping strategies in real time.  He learned mindfulness and being present with the ocean.  He learned that emotions, like waves can feel big and powerful, but with time they pass.  He learned that emotions and waves can take you away, but you don’t have to catch every wave.  He learned to allow emotions and waves to pass him by.  John improved his core strength, gross motor, fine motor and motor planning skills.  John developed a new interest beyond gaming and developed a weekly routine around his surf lessons.  This new interest and new found confidence through a sense of mastery allowed him to start exploring new activities to fill his week with around school such as mountain biking and Dungeons and Dragons.  John no longer watches YouTube and games once a week as per his parents request.

Psychosis and Time Use

Edward is a 22 year old man who has experienced his first episode of psychosis.  The experience had rattled him and he struggled with motivation and he complained of having a foggy brain.  He dropped out of Uni and lost his part time job.  His sleep was poor and his mood had been really low.  His medication made him sedated and he had gained a lot of weight.  Leading into his episode he became increasingly paranoid, smoked more cannabis than usual and withdrew from his social groups and hobbies.

He met with Greenhouse who discussed the loss of Occupation contributing to to his low mood, poor sleep, foggy brain and motivation.  He worked with them to identify that his time use currently was mostly sedentary and unrewarding.  He worked with them on scheduling previously enjoyed hobbies and exploring new adventure sports.  Gradually his mood improved and confidence returned.  He found that he was making new and healthier relationships through shared activities.  His weight returned to a healthy range through exercise, sleep routine and healthier food choices.  As he had returned to organising his time use he easily transitioned into new part time employment and is currently enrolled to start a new course next semester.

Depression and Relapse Prevention Planning

Em is a 23 year old gender fluid person who has a passion for art and their job at the Animal Welfare League.  They have had two major depressive episodes and the most recent one culminated in loss of relationships, loss of employment and finally an attempt on their life.  With input from the Greenhouse Therapist and wider treating team, Em’s mood continued to improve as they returned to meaningful activities.  Em was able to recognise the dark place they were in, and wanted to avoid going back there.

Em set a goal with Greenhouse to develop a relapse prevention plan.  Together Em and the therapist explored triggers, ways to stay well generally, early warning signs and tested evidence based strategies for the early warning signs.  This is a dynamic document that changes and grows over time.  When Em checks the relapse prevention plan each week, they check their list of early warning signs.  If they have had early warning signs that week, they use the corresponding strategy to improve their mood.  The tool has given them the confidence to take control of their mental health and well being.

Anxiety and Self Maintenance

Megan is a 19 year old woman who’s anxiety saw her avoiding social outings with friends, sleeping all the time though still being tired, losing weight and eventually she would only leave the house for work.  She was referred to Greenhouse by her parents.  Megan was reluctant to engage at first, though as she didn’t need to leave the house she was agreeable.  Greenhouse used a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and behavioural activation to challenge unhelpful thinking patterns.  She was able to start seeing select friends at different times within a week and within 2 months had plans for moving into a flat with her old school mate.

The Greenhouse therapist assisted her to identify the skills needed for living independently through a Living Skills assessment.  The pair then set about learning budgeting, shopping and cooking skills through weekly therapy sessions.  She can now independently prepare six healthy affordable meals from six different countries, has started compiling her own cook book and has saved enough for the bond payment for her new rental.


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What's coming up

Nov 16 - 17, 2023 Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
Registration Closed

March 14 - 15, 2024 Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
Registration Open

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