Congratulations to Ruth Sun, M.A., OTR/L, for presenting Occupational Therapy Mental Health Services for the 0-5 population at the International Congress of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists in Yokohama, Japan on June 17-21, 2014! In this presentation Ms. Sun discussed the psychosocial and occupational needs of infants and children (ages 0-5), as well as the evaluation tools and the intervention approaches for addressing occupational performance.


Thank you AT&T Pioneer Volunteer Organization for donating backpacks full of school supplies to our youth! This is the third consecutive year that OTTP has been privileged to receive these generous donations for our clients.  Above is a picture of some of our staff setting up the backpacks for distribution in the Youth Center.

Torrance Health & Wellness Center a Collaboration Between OTTP & SBFHC
OTTP and South Bay Family Health Care (SBFHC) celebrated the formal opening of their new ‘Torrance Health &Wellness Center’ that was created on the premises of OTTP located at 19401 S. Vermont Ave. in Torrance, CA. Sponsored by the Harbor City Chamber of Commerce and attended by many local officials, the ‘ribbon cutting’ held on June 11, 2014 was a festive event celebrating community health. SBFHC will provide primary care services for OTTP clients as well as other eligible residents including at-risk, low income children and youth age 21 and younger. The combination of physical health and behavioral health in a single setting emphasizes overall wellness and is the new medical model taking root across the nation. Plans are underway to expand services to adults in the near future.

Congratulations to Marion Pate, MPA and Natalie Sartin, MA,
who will present at the Department of Mental Health TAY Conference "Promoting Hope, Wellness, and Self-Sufficiency" on May 17, 2011 in Los Angeles. Their 90-minute workshop is entitled "Understanding the Cultural and Environmental Attitudes Towards Literacy Within African-American and Hispanic Communities in Order to Develop Best Practices."

OTTP at OTAC's 2011 Spring Symposium at Disney's Paradise Pier® Hotel, April 2 & 3, 2011 in Anaheim, CA.  
OTTP Division Director, OTAC Region 2 Director-Elect - Sarah Bream - presented Saturday April 2nd as part of "Transitioning to New Areas of Practice."  The presentation explored returning to occupational therapy after being away from practice as well as transitioning into new areas of practice. Dr. Bream spoke from a mental health prospective; others included those of physical disabilities, home health, and pediatrics.  

Paula McNamara, MS, OTR/L & Andrea Mendoza, LMFT, presented April 3rd.  Their presentation entitled "Assessing Family Functioning Through Home-based Mental Health Services" looked at the benefits and challenges of providing family-centered, occupation-based interventions in the home while integrating occupational therapy into an evidence-based community mental health model for at-risk youth.

OTTP at AOTA's  91st Annual Conference & Expo - April 14-17, 2011 in Philadelphia, PA.
OTTP's Paula McNamara, MS, OTR/L & Andrea Mendoza, LMFT, presented Friday, Apr 15th, with a session entitled "Mental Health Inclusion: Preventative Services to At-Risk Youth and Families Through Home and Community-Based Services," exploring how occupational therapy has been integrated into an evidence-based community mental health model for at-risk youth, as well as the benefits and challenges of providing family-centered, occupation based interventions in the home.

Elizabeth Carley, OTD, OTR/L & Luisa Lowe, MSW, LCSW, presented Apr 16th with the session  "Aggression reduction for adolescents: An interdisciplinary approach," which discussed the importance of the innovative, interdisciplinary nature of an aggression replacement program for adolescents.  The effects of budgetary constraints and institutional mandates on continuity and quality of services for low-income at-risk youth were also addressed.

Ruth Sun, M.A. OTR/L & Mary Lawrence, OTA/L also presented April 16th with "Food Fitness: Healthier Eating for a Healthier Lifestyle for At-Risk Youth." The session explored the impact of obesity during adolescence is significant as it affects mental health, social relationships and academic functioning. Food Fitness is a wellness program designed to promote the development of healthy living choices and positive habits for at-risk youth living in urban Los Angeles.  View the presentation handout here.

Congrats to all of the OTTP presenters!

OTTP LCSW Clinical Supervisor
Kasey Phillips Brown was featured on the National Association of Social Workers website for a second consecutive year, during their annual Black History Month celebration! 

"[My grandma] said, "Why would you want to be a social worker? You already had your SAD little life. Now you want to sit and listen to these SAD people, tell you their SAD stories? Why would you want to do that? You've had enough sadness." Well this is the first time my grandma was wrong. I go to work everyday with a smile on my face.......I smile when I'm working with my beautiful group home boys who have had life kick them in the teeth yet they are still grinning from ear to ear. I wouldn't trade this career for anything else."

OTTP was well-represented at the 34th Annual Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) Conference, which took place October 14 - 17, 2010 in Pasadena, California.

OTTP Division Director Sarah Bream was honored at the Annual Awards Gala Dinner entitled "Honoring Those Who Inspire Professional Excellence," receiving the OTAC OT Practice Award!  

In addition, Dr. Bream contributed to the Panel Discussion "Reimbursement Guidelines: Recent Changes and trends" and the session entitled "Innovative Community Mental Health Practice for Children and Adolescents," with OTTP School-Based Services Director, Suzanne Afuso-Sugano, Janelle Kurtenbach, and SSG Special Projects Consultant Naomi Kageyama.

Part II of the session "Innovative Community Mental Health Practice for Children and Adolescents" was led by OTTP ambassadors: Sarah Bream, OTD, OTR/L, Suzanne Afuso-Sugano, OTR/L, Elizabeth Carley, OTD, OTR/L, Stephanie Feuer, OTR/L, Nancy Haggerty COTA/L, Michelle-King-Nimmers, OTR/L, Janelle Kurtenbach, OTD, OTR/L, Mary Lawrence, COTA/L, Stacey Willis, OTR/L.  Consisting of OT Practitioners, the panel highlighted OTTP's various occupation-based programs and groups, including the Tennis, Garden and Music groups, as well as Intensive Services. Music Group facilitator Eric Drake also contributed. 

Congratulations to OTTP Division Director Sarah Bream, OTD/OTR/L, who has been elected to serve the Occupational Therapy Association of California as the Region 2 Director-Elect. Dr. Bream will serve one year in the director-elect position and then three years in the director position. OTAC was established in 1972 and represents the interests of 14,000 licensed occupational therapy practitioners in the state of California. OTAC serves, supports and promotes the profession of occupational therapy and its practitioners.

OTTP Division Director, OTD/OTR/L Sarah Bream, contributed an article to the June 28, 2010 issue of OT Practice, entitled "Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Adolescents."  The feature-length editorial highlights OTTP, the specific role of the OT practitioner in community-based mental health practice with adolescents, and some key examples of the interdisciplinary model.  

"The state of mental health among our nation's adolescents is alarming. Violence, suicide, and substance abuse continue to impact millions of adolescent lives each year," Bream wrote.  "The mental health needs of adolescents are immense, but occupational therapy practitioners have the knowledge and skills to help address their needs......OTTP serves as a model program striving to meet the critical needs of adolescents in Urban Los Angeles."    

View the complete article here.

OTTP LCSW Clinical Supervisor Kasey Phillips Brown was featured on the National Association of Social Workers website during their Black History Month celebration.

"Our children are faced with poverty, a lack of resources, poor education, high unemployment, parental abandonment resulting from substance abuse, incarceration and mental illness and often these children act out their depression through oppositional behavior and criminal activity," she said. "These children are then viewed by society as ‘bad kids.’ I want the world to know that children are not just ‘born bad.’ I believe that if you sat that 'bad kid' down in an office and had he or she tell you about their life, you would most likely find that it is a wounded child that is just trying to survive. Our children are beautiful and resilient and I challenge those that disagree to walk a mile in their shoes."

Read the complete article: www.helpstartshere.org/tag/kasey-phillips-brown

OTTP OTA/L Mary Lawrence
was featured in the January issue of OTAC regarding her work with the OTTP garden project.  

"Marcy Piercy wrote a poem, 'To Be of Use,' and said in it, "I want to be with people who submerge in the task, who go into the fields to harvest." When I submerge myself in the task of helping a client, I love my work. It is most rewarding when I see a client immersed and wholly occupied in a meaningful activity. I feel lucky to work in a unique, supportive environment with several creative, caring therapists. I am happy to work for supervisors who allow me to think, work and play outside the box."   

View the complete article here.