The implicit message of Matt Muijen's article, 'Wish they were here?' is that acute mental health services need to be developed with an occupational perspective.

However, the assumption that nurses need to be retrained to deliver this is wrong. Occupational therapists are professionals expert in enabling individuals to attain and maintain their optimal level of function using occupation as the process or the end product.

One of the reasons I voted with my feet was because of the lack of recognition of my specialist skills within acute mental health services. I was put under increasing pressure to function as a generic worker, to call myself a 'key worker' rather than an occupational therapist.

There is recognition that talking therapies, like pharmacological interventions, only have a limited impact. If therapeutic activity is back on the mental health agenda occupational therapists are ready to deliver.

Katrina Bannigan Research and development occupational therapist Royal Hull Hospitals trust