The Department kicked off celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of occupational therapy education at the University of Toronto and in Canada in February of this year, coinciding with the beginning of bedside ‘vocational training classes’ on 21 February 1918, a program developed to support injured veterans of WWI. Occupational therapy education and practice started in rapidly expanding communities where wounded veterans were returning to their homes and jobs, and many immigrants were adjusting to new ways of life. Expanding the enrolment of the MScOT program at UTM addresses demographic need for occupational therapy services across Ontario, and specifically within the Region of Peel, one of the fasting-growing and most culturally diverse regions in Canada.
In her address, Prof. Kirsh spoke about the current mental health crisis among university students and described a study she is undertaking with colleagues and students to better understand the everyday challenges experienced by undergraduate university students experienced mental health problems, and to determine the feasibility of delivering an occupational therapy intervention that will enable students to succeed in their role. In addition to Prof. Kirsh’s keynote talk, remarks were given from Vice President and UTM Principal Ulrich Krull; Faculty of Medicine Dean Trevor Young; Chair, Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy Susan Rappolt; Associate Dean, Medical Education (Regional) Alison Freeland; and Vice Dean, Graduate and Academic Affairs Allan Kaplan.
We wholeheartedly thank the many people who made this event a success: Faculty of Medicine and University of Toronto Mississauga event coordinators, our student volunteers, our speakers, the wonderful musicians, the caterers, and most importantly, our guests.Read more about the celebration: Celebrating the introduction of OT training at UTM