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BASED IN Hillingdon, England

Natasha May Powell


Natasha splits her time between two different roles. As an occupational therapist, she works with people with complex mental health care needs. She’s also a care co-ordinator and uses her occupational therapist skills in her work with the Metropolitan Police supporting individuals who have had a personality disorder diagnosis. This helps to reduce the number of people with high-risk behaviours and therefore the demand on NHS emergency services.

In both roles, I’m able to draw upon all my skills every day – I can be creative and work with people to find solutions to their problems. The team I’m part of is encouraging and supportive. I also supervise students and employment specialists which is giving me the chance to develop my leadership skills.

“I work with people who have mental and physical health needs, as well as with their families or carers. It gives me the opportunity to go out into the community as well as into people’s homes to help them with their daily living needs, offering equipment or additional support if they need it.”

Another aspect of my role involves supporting people to undertake their usual daily activities in their communities after a period of assessment and recovery work. This is a great opportunity to network and discuss clinical needs with other occupational therapists in the acute mental health service.

“I’m dyslexic and this environment allows me time to think and reflect on my clinical work. It’s a really rewarding career and you have a lot of scope to make a real difference to people’s lives.”

I recently worked with an individual who was in a dark place. I spoke to him every day so we could find ways for him to manage his symptoms. Ultimately, I referred him to the Home Treatment Team – a service that works with individuals to minimise hospital admissions. Seeing people improve and retain some independence is one of the things that make this an amazing career. You also have so many options and opportunities open to you, and the difference you can make is huge.


Discover more about day-to-day life as an occupational therapist