Occupational Therapy Association of Californa

Mental Health Symposium

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On Demand Virtual Learning

Earn PDUs

6th Annual Mental Health Symposium (virtual)

Earn 5.5 PDUs


  • 9:00am – 9:15am: Welcome and Introduction
  • 9:15am – 10:15am: Occupational Therapy's Future in Psychedelic Mental Healthcare
  • 10:15am – 11:15am: The Injeti Self-Esteem Model
  • 11:15am – 11:30am: Break
  • 11:30am – 1:00pm: Student Perspectives Panel
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm: Occupational Therapy in Program Development: Advocating for Cognition Inclusion for In-Home Support Services Evaluations
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Cognition Roundtable: Current Trends & Interventions

May 19, 2024
9:00am -3:00pm
Zoom meeting information will be provided via email within 30 minutes of registration.

Early Bird - ends May 5
$79 OTAC members/$109 nonmembers
$59 student members/$89 student nonmembers

$99 OTAC members/$129 nonmembers
$79 student members/$109 student nonmembers


OT: Symposium and Membership - $259
OTA: Symposium and Membership - $219
Student: Symposium and Membership - $109


Cancellation/Refund Policy. $35 is retained to cover cancellation/refund processing costs. Written notice must be received in the OTAC office by May 11, 2024 to be eligible for refunds. No refunds after this date. Disclaimer: OTAC reserves the right to make changes to the program. No refunds will made based on these changes.

Past Mental Health Symposiums

2023 5th Annual Mental Health Symposium

Registration Brochure

2023 Mental Health Symposium On Demand Recordings
Carrying Our Stories into Mental Health Practice: Anti-Oppression in Occupational Therapy - $25 members/$35 nonmembers - 1.5 PDUs
Ryan Lavalley, PhD, OTR/L; Karen Park, OTD, OTR/L, BCP
The therapy practitioner and client each bring their own story and lived experience with them to the therapeutic process. Examining these stories informs strategies to redress oppression, both individually and systemically. We will discuss how occupational therapy practitioners can approach this work considering systemic injustice rooted in structures like racism, queerphobia, and sanism, and briefly give participants the opportunity to dialogue about how their own stories can inform their approach to this work. - 5/2023
Occupational Therapy and Forensic Mental Health Panel - $25 members/$35 nonmembers - 1 PDU
Julian Prado, OTD, OTR/L; Gina Gosparini, MA, OTR/L; Jessie Tien, MA, OTR/L; Carlos Aguilar
Hear from a panel of occupational therapy practitioners working in community-based forensic mental health services. Current best practices, contextual challenges, and personal strategies for self-care and preventing burnout will be explored. - 5/2023
Professional Advocacy and Program Development in Nontraditional Roles for Persons Experiencing Homelessness
Stephanie Moon, OTD, OTR/L
Session was not recorded at presenter request.
Putting on Our People Lens: Lived Experience as Pedagogy - $25 members/$35 nonmembers - 1.5 PDUs
Tessa Milman, OTD, OTR/L; Celso Delgado, Jr., OTD, OTR/L; Leslie Moren; Guyton Colantuono; John Travers; Maggie Yeo
This session will describe the process and outcomes of an innovative pedagogical design that engaged mental health consumers, experts by experience, to co-lead debriefs with occupational therapy students learning about mental health practice. Qualitative and quantitative outcomes indicated that this course design broadened students’ understanding of mental illness and recovery. Attendees will reflect on opportunities to include experts by experience as mentors or instructors in their own practice contexts. - 5/2023

2022 4th Annual Mental Health Symposium
Registration Brochure
2022 Mental Health Symposium On Demand Recordings
Attachment, Trauma, and Mental Illness: Intersections and Implications at the Micro, Meso, and Macro Levels - $25 members/$35 nonmembers - 1 PDU
Carol Lambdin-Pattavina, OTD, OTR/L
Despite a growing body of evidence that is 50 years in the making, little space is afforded dialogue about and exploration of the intersections between attachment, complex trauma, and illnesses that often bear psychiatric labels in the medicallyoriented psychiatric community that continues to dominate mental health care. Understanding these intersections can shift occupational therapy practice and intervention outcomes at the micro (individual), meso (community), and macro (societal) levels. Participants will gain a better understanding of the implications of insecure attachments on mental illness and explore trauma-sensitive approaches that can foster healing for all clients. - 7/2022
Beyond the Medical Model: Seeing Psychosis through a Human Lens - $25 members/$35 nonmembers - 1 PDU
Elise Blanton-Hubbard, MOT, OTR/L; Twylla Kirchen, PhD, OTR/L, CLA; Christine Linkie, PhD, OTR/L, CPRP
In this session, participants will engage in a discussion related to the importance of understanding psychosis as a human experience rather than through the lens of the medical model. The presenters and facilitator, who are educators and practitioners, have been a part of the AOTA Psychosis Community of Practice (CoP) for several years and have shared their work at the AOTA Annual Conference. The focus of this discussion will be centered on how best to embed the human process perspective into occupational therapy practice. - 7/2022
Occupational Therapy and Intimate Partner Violence: Overcoming Trauma and Finding Meaning - $25 members/$35 nonmembers - 1 PDU
Heather Javaherian, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Intimate partner violence (IPV) affects about one in five women and one in seven men. The trauma of violence by an intimate partner has a significant impact on mental health and occupational participation. This presentation will describe the role of occupational therapy in working with survivors of IPV, interventions, as well as challenges to service provision. Implications for advocacy will be discussed. - 7/2022
Optimizing Client Mental Health through Trauma Responsive Occupational Therapy Practice - $25 members/$35 nonmembers - 1 PDU
Amy Lynch, PhD, OTR/L, TBRI ® Educator, FAOTA
Trauma has a rippling impact upon the habits, roles, and routines of our clients, responsible for instability in mental health and jeopardizing satisfaction in self and occupational engagement. In this keynote, Lynch will discuss the "who, what, where" and why the time is now to put trauma-informed principles at the forefront of our practice. - 7/2022
Trauma, Marginalized Intersectional Identities, and Your Occupational Responsibility - $25 members/$35 nonmembers - 1 PDU
Alaa Abou-Arab, OTD, OTR/L; Nuriya Neumann, MS, OTR/L
This conversation will create a trauma-focused space for learning about experiences and perspectives related to trauma and healing from minoritized and often neglected identities. Panelists will share information about historic and current day attitudes, biases, and systems of oppression that impact engagement in meaningful occupations and access to health and wellness. The focus of this session is to develop and deepen participants' understanding of intersectional identities and their relationship to trauma and health as well as identifying the role of occupational therapy practitioners in mitigating the harm caused to marginalized communities across the lifespan and improving outcomes for all individuals. - 7/2022

2021 3rd Annual Mental Health Symposium

Registration Brochure

2021 Mental Health Symposium On Demand Recordings
A Family of Veterans: An Introspective View of Intersectionality on Military Culture and Female Soldiers of Color - $19 members/ $29 nonmembers - 1 PDU
Alondra Ammon, MOT, OTR/L
This presentation will provide attendees with greater insight into some of the challenges females of color experience within a military culture through personal reflections from sisters who each served in a different military branch. - 4/2021
Building and Sustaining Healthy Communities: Understanding the Impact of Racism on Mental Health and Occupational Engagement - $10 members/$20 nonmembers - 0.5 PDUs
Arameh Anvarizadeh, OTD, OTR/L - 4/2021
Panel: Occupational Justice for the Unhoused - $19 members/ $29 nonmembers - 1 PDU
Gina Phelps, OTD, OTR/L; Erin McIntyre, OTD, OTR/L; Bianca Doherty, OTD, OTR/L; Robin Martin, OTS
Panelists will share their experiences in providing mental health occupational therapy services to the unhoused population in various community settings. Strategies for how the panelists promoted occupational therapy and partnered with community sites will be shared. - 4/2021

2020 2nd Annual Mental Health Symposium

Registration Brochure

2020 Mental Health Symposium On Demand Recordings
Exploring Voice-Hearers’ Experience of Romantic and Sexual Relationships - $15 members/$25 nonmembers - 1 PDU
Emilio Villavicencio, OTS; Kristen Gottheil, OTS
There is limited research within occupational therapy that explores the impact of occupations with individuals who hear voices. Currently there are no studies that solely focus on romantic and/or sexual relationships with individuals who hear voices. The purpose of this presentation is to address that gap by capturing the experience of romantic and sexual relationships through a qualitative phenomenological study for those who hear voices. - 4/2020
Introduction to Cultural Responsiveness - $15 members/$25 nonmembers - 1 PDU
Elizabeth “Beth” Ching, OTD, M.Ed., BSOT, OTR/L
Occupational therapy as a profession must diversify its workforce to meet the needs of a diverse population. This presentation is an excerpt from a module taught to occupational therapy graduate students to introduce the concept of culturally responsive care. “Cultural Competence” is the language used in many health professions that suggests an end-point; however, “Cultural Responsiveness” is a term used in both the professions of education and health to suggest lifelong learning. The learner will participate in brief activities that explore issues of identity and implicit bias. Reducing health disparities with the goal of health equity for all is the call to all health providers. - 4/2020
Lived Experience - $15 members/$25 nonmembers - 1 PDU
Amanda Lipp, Filmmaker | Social Entrepreneur | Speaker
Amanda shares her story from psychiatric hospitalization during college to becoming an entrepreneur and filmmaker in mental health. She challenges people to think “outside the crayon box” of traditional mental health paradigms: from illness to identity, and adversity to opportunity. Amanda will share how drawing with crayons during the hospital led her to recovery and advocacy in mental health. She will also provide insights and clips from the documentary films she makes in NYC and around the U.S. that promote youth mental health programs and research. - 4/2020

2019 1st Annual Mental Health Symposium

Registration Brochure
Event was in-person. No recordings produced.