Credit: Lesly Juarez
A note of the word mindfulness sits on a window sill, as mindfulness is incorporated into the practice of occupational therapy.

CSU’s Occupational Therapy program thrives despite COVID-19

Cleveland State University Occupational Therapy program is continuing to offer many of its traditional services while introducing new ones to promote health and well-being despite COVID-19, offering many services via zoom. 

OT students are also working with the CSU Office of Disability Services to assist students who have challenges transitioning to college life.

“OT students have offered services to promote the mental health of school-aged children, adults with Down Syndrome, and women in the prison system,” Beth Ekelman, Program Director of the Occupational Therapy program at CSU said.

As part of their studies and training, the OT students coordinated a Mindful Hike and Photo Contest in October last year at the Rocky River Reservation. 

“It was a big success with over 20 participants,” Ekelman said. “This semester’s Service Learning Students have begun plans for a second Team RWB event in late March.”

Student’s in the CSU OT program are also devoted to serving veterans and in the community. The collaborations with CSU’s Veteran and Military Success Center began two years ago. The relationship between the two has inspired a new Service Learning course this year, which is related to veteran-specific concerns.

Students in this Service Learning course partnered with the Cleveland Chapter of Team Red White and Blue, an organization whose mission is, “To enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.”

Another service that the OT students are pursuing is the creation of a vlog called the info SpOT. 

“With the university’s COVID restrictions, student veterans have had limited physical access to the Veteran and Military Success Center,” Ekelman said. “In order to support the center’s ongoing outreach efforts, OT students are creating 20-30 minute vlogs on identified topics of interest to CSU’s student vets.” 

The vlogs will be available through the center’s website soon: