Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Janet Jedlicka


Title: Occupational Therapy: Addressing Mental Health Needs in Permanent Supportive Housing

Introduction: The availability and implementation of occupational therapy services in supportive housing are limited. According to Schultheis (2018), out of the 550,000 people in America who experienced homelessness on a given night in 2017, 1 in 5 had a mental illness. Choy-Brown, Padgett, Smith, and Tiderington (2016) found that 92% of individuals with mental illness stated that secure housing was the foundation of their recovery. When housing acts as a cornerstone to recovery, it is important, as occupational therapists, to capitalize on the opportunity and resources stable housing provides to encourage residents to lead meaningful and independent lives (Tiderington, 2017). There is a need for evidence-based, client centered programs for individuals with SMI as the importance of community based mental health becomes more crucial to promote independence and preserve well-being in the community. The purpose of this scholarly project was to develop an intervention protocol to address the need for occupation-based interventions for individuals with SMI living in supportive housing.

Methodology: An extensive literature review on the identified population and factors affecting the population’s wellness was conducted using the search databases PubMed and CINAHL Psychinfo, and OT search. Government and non-profit centers for information regarding individuals with SMI living in supportive housing were also used for the literature review and the development of educational materials for this population. To guide the creation of the product, the Person - Environment - Occupation (PEO) and recovery models were used.

Results: An intervention protocol consisting of four intervention guides was created to promote independence and occupational engagement in individuals with SMI living in supportive housing. Each intervention guide focuses on an occupation that research has shown to be a need of the identified population. This group protocol is intended to be implemented by occupational therapists working in supportive housing with a community-based mental health focus. Information is included for the facilitator regarding the incorporation of Cole’s 7 steps and facilitation techniques.