Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life … author unknown
As I am about to launch my revised ERGO-Wise webpage, I am experiencing many different emotions. I am excited that this new webpage is more modern than my earlier version and that it is taking advantage of 2018 technology. As a person who likes change, I embrace this revised page and what it offers for you, my readers, and what it offers me in terms of enhancing my ability to share information and promote awareness.
At the time of this launch, ERGO-Wise is celebrating its 18 year birthday. Wow! When I first opened my private practice/business, I was advised to give myself three years to see if the business is viable. Apparently, three years is the sweet spot for a business to show promise or, unfortunately, fold.
As I reflect on the past 18 years, I ask myself what has made my business successful. Certainly, the fact that my business is grounded in occupational therapy would have given it a starting chance. The field of occupational therapy is an exceptional area in healthcare. I love its focus on people’s strengths and its focus on helping each person reach his/her potential regardless of limitations and challenges. I love the problem solving inherent in the profession to help people overcome barriers thereby enabling them to live as independently as possible. I love that occupational therapists focus on the whole person taking into consideration one’s physical, mental, psychological, and social dimensions. And I love that occupational therapy is client-centered resulting in our clients being active in their treatment rather than passive recipients.
This leads me to another reason why I believe my business has enjoyed success. My hallmark cognitive work hardening program (bridge2work™) is grounded in occupational therapy principles and is inherently designed so that a person regains his/her independence by providing input into their rehabilitation and resuming the worker role. While work abilities are enhanced during this treatment intervention (e.g., cognitive abilities, communication skills, adopting a routine, adhering to a work schedule), individuals are treated with respect and are valued. Their contribution to the return-to-work journey is critical for its success which is a first step in a person regaining self-worth and self-esteem.
Workplace mental health is being recognized both in healthcare and in workplaces as a bona fide issue that requires attention. Given the rates of disability leaves related to mental health are rising with concomitant impact on workplaces’ bottom line, there has been increased awareness of this issue with a realization that targeted intervention is required to address the unique challenges of people returning to work after a disability leave. ERGO-Wise has been uniquely positioned to address this and in so doing, has been a leader in return-to-work preparation especially for people returning to work after recovering from an episode of depression.
This brings me to the common thread that has woven each of these elements into the success of ERGO-Wise: PASSION. Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about being an occupational therapist. I am passionate about the cognitive work hardening program that I pioneered. And I am passionate about workplace mental health and the need to chip away at this ever growing epidemic.
I have learned in the past 18 years about the importance of following your passion. It has been a dream come true to apply my occupational therapy training to build ERGO-Wise. It has been an honour working with my clients and sharing in their return-to-work journeys.