Document Type (Journals)

Educational Innovations


This advanced graduate elective was designed for second year Master of Occupational Therapy students to provide opportunities for students to act as consultants of the profession and collaborators within the community utilizing community engaged learning methods. This elective helped to detail components of evidence-based practice, primary needs of integration, and future opportunities within an urban pediatric behavioral health unit. The practice area of mental health was chosen specifically as the collaborating site due to the decline of occupational therapist recognition as qualified mental and behavioral health providers. This lack of recognition may limit reimbursement and funding, and decrease employment opportunities, both detriments to practice. However, within the last decade there has been a resurgence in establishing the profession’s roots within mental and behavioral health practice. Several key pieces of federal legislation have recognized occupational therapists' expertise and have cited the profession in several mental and behavioral health initiatives. Many states are seeking recognition of occupational therapists as qualified behavioral health providers (QBHP) or qualified mental health providers (QMHP) and this elective provided the opportunity for didactic instruction to intersect with advocacy and education while producing a rich learning experiences for all involved.


Victoria G. Wilburn, DHSc, OTR is Assistant Professor for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, School of Health and Human Sciences, Department of OT. Dr. Wilburn is a community engaged practitioner scholar, investigating occupational therapy’s contributions in promoting health and wellness in community mental and behavioral health settings, specifically among adolescents.

Hannah Stoll, BS is a current second-year student in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Indiana University. Prior to this, she worked in special education for the Indianapolis Public School system. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Evansville.

Jill C. Fodstad, PhD, HSPP, BCBA-D is Associate Professor for Clinical Psychology in Clinical Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine-Indianapolis. She is a licensed psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Anthony Chase, PhD has areas of expertise in research methods, educational psychology, psychometrics, and assessment. Dr. Chase is currently focused on assessments involving childhood disability research as well as outcomes involving caretakers children with disabilities.

Christina M. Douglas, OTD, OTR, CSPT is a Clinical Affiliate Faculty member in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Dr. Douglas' area of clinical expertise is in pediatric rehabilitation in a variety of settings. Her scholarship currently focuses on teaching and learning methodologies.

Declaration of Interest

Dr. Jill Fodstad is the Clinical Director, Simon Skjodt Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, IN.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.