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RCOMH international launch in Chile

We were honoured that Professor Sharon Brintnell, President of World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) and Naomi Hankinson, Chair of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT) and College of Occupational Therapists (COT) Council, were able to formally launch RCOMH as an international collaborative centre.

Sharon spoke about the importance and timeliness of RCOMH. Her commitment reflects the fact that the WFOT ‘recognizes that fostering international research collaboration is crucial to sustaining excellence in occupational therapy research and training, and wishes to take a leading role in identifying and seizing opportunities to promote occupational therapy research. It is committed to advancing collaborative international occupational therapy research among member countries’ (Position Statement on Research, WFOT, 2006).

Naomi reiterated the link between RCOMH and the COT mental health strategy Recovering ordinary lives and the challenges for researchers within that strategy, i.e.

  • Services are informed by research evidence and up-to-date information on best practice (pix)
  • Promote the contribution of occupational therapy to evidence based mental health services (p2)
  • Focus on providing evidence for a causal relationship between occupation, health and well being (p11)
  • Seek to develop and take the lead in co-ordinated programmes of research (p15)

The support of WFOT and COT is inestimable to RCOMH. In a recent survey WFOT identified that there are approx 324 000 occupational therapists in the world and that their website gets 1.5 million hits a month. By supporting RCOMH through having our web link on their website we are broadening our opportunities of reaching the people across the world who are committed to our mission of develop world class research in occupation and mental health to influence best practice.

               Sharon Brintnell          Naomi Hankinson         

Dr Alison Laver-Fawcett, Deputy Director of RCOMH, and Hilary Williams, the Chair of RCOMH Steering group, represented RCOMH at the event.

Alison provided an overview of how RCOMH came into being by explaining the drivers for the foundation of this centre and briefly described RCOMH’s mission, founding partners, steering group, research programmes, website, e-bulletin, research clinics and bid camps.

Hilary chaired the event and she felt at the end of the social reception that followed that there was “Lots of interest and admiration of the 4 year vision and the commitment from partners.”

               Alison Laver Fawcett           Hilary Williams