Stephen was awarded the CAOT-BC Outstanding OT of the Year Award for his exceptional contributions that influence the occupational therapy profession. He is well known in the British Columbia occupational therapy community for his work in mental health and addictions at Vancouver Coastal Health. We connected with Stephen to ask him a few questions about his career as an occupational therapist, as well his recent award.
For me, the award recognizes the increased awareness of the impact of psychological trauma on people's recoveries from injury, disability, and illness. I am passionate about supporting people to recover from traumatic experiences, not only the aspect of coping with a new reality, but also developing the skills and self-efficacy to harness the wisdom in the wounds to thrive and create a meaningful life. I feel getting this award honours my dedication to supporting clients, staff, and organizations to recover from loss, cope with suffering, and build a life worth living. I love Occupational Therapy and am so stoked to be recognized for my efforts to help people and promote the professions models, theories and visions for an inclusive society.
I've had so many awesome moments! Some of the highlights of my career include:
- Providing over 100 workshops on trauma-informed practice to clients, families, students, health providers, schools, non-profit organizations, fundraising events, and government events.
- Participating in the development of the Heart and Soul Orientation day for all staff working in mental health and substance use services.
- Providing straight up, back-to-the basics occupational therapy to approximately 10,000 clients over 16 years of being an OT.
- Providing consultation regarding psychosocial rehabilitation program design and implementing trauma-informed practice to the Downtown Community Court, Lifemark Physiotherapy, Mom-to-Mom and Deborah's Gate.
- Participating in College of OTs investigations to support maintaining a high standard for the profession.
- Partnering with Vancity to develop staff competencies and confidence in supporting patrons and staff with mental health and substance use issues.
- Partnering with VANDU to develop a Safer Crack Kit distribution and mentorship program.
I am inspired to never give up hope for people. If you look around, there are so many inspiring people who can provide pathways and examples. My current inspirations include: Rafe Kelley, Katy Bowman, Ido Portal, Wim Hoff, Tim Ferriss...check them out.
Stephen will be providing a lecture as the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding OT of the Year Award at the end of cOnnecT Day on November 3rd, 2018. For more details, please visit the College of Occupational Therapists of BC's website.