Messages in paint - local mental health services mark Occupational Therapy Week with art activity

Occupational Therapists and staff across local mental health services are marking Occupational Therapy week this month by inviting everyone to get involved with a painting activity called #OTRocksSPFT.

Occupational Therapy Week will run from 4-10 November this year and to show their support, Occupational Therapists and staff from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, who provide mental health and learning disability services across the South East, are running #OTRocksSPFT, a pebble painting activity.

Occupational therapists provide practical support to adults and young people who have a range of physical and mental health conditions. Their work facilitates recovery and helps people continue to do the activities and jobs that are most important to them. 

Occupational Therapy Week is an annual awareness event led by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT). This year’s theme is ‘Small Change, Big Impact’, which highlights and celebrates the huge impact that occupational therapists can make to the lives of the services users and communities they work with. 

The team at Sussex Partnership decided to initiate a fun art activity as a way for staff and service users to get involved, and to raise awareness of Occupational Therapy. #OTRocksSPFT was inspired by the trend of pebble/rock painting which in recent years has become really popular across social media as a way of spreading acts of kindness through uplifting messages.

Louise Vinton, Professional Lead Occupational Therapist for West Sussex, said: “The idea is very simple - search for hidden painted rocks and re-hide them somewhere else. You can also paint your own rocks and write #OTRocksSPFT on the back for others to find. 

“We hope that when people find these rocks it will help to brighten their day. We will also be painting and hiding some golden rocks across Sussex Partnership Trust sites throughout OT Week. The people who find these will win a prize!”

To look at the pebbles which have been painted and hidden so far, search #OTRocksSPFT on social media.