Suhailah Mohamed

I’m an occupational therapist, registered with the health care professions council (HCPC). I’m employed by the East London NHS Foundation Trust as the Professional Development Lead for Allied Health Professionals. I oversee practice learning facilitation and expansion, the CPD needs of our AHPs and lead an ICS-wide project that aims to diversity the AHP workforce in NEL, leading with the lens of race and culture, taking intersectionality with it.

I love the variety of my role. I love that I work closely with all types of people, at all levels of the organisation across all directorates / divisions. I love that the work I do affects systems and the experience of our existing and emerging staff as well as the population who use our services.

As an occupational therapist, I love working with people living with mental health conditions. I enjoy using activities that they love to do as the vehicle to making therapy happen and improve their symptoms e.g. I use baking, swimming, working and studying as activities to help keep people well and active in their daily lives.

I became an occupational therapist by chance. I was working as a recruitment consultant and my agency was looking to expand and open an occupational therapy locum desk. I asked what occupational therapy was, and was hooked.  Googled the profession, read the first hit that appeared on the search results, fell in love and applied to the 2 schools in London that offered MSc. Pre-registration occupational therapy. I chose to study at Brunel University, The original London School of Occupational Therapy.

I was on a path to be a doctor and study medicine and although I got the GCSE and A-Level grades, couldn’t get passed the selection interviews. After applying to all the universities in the UK for a place to study medicine and being unsuccessful, I was at a loss as to what to do with my life. So when I heard about occupational therapy and read the philosophy of the profession, it resonated with my core sense of self so strongly, I had to pursue it!

Outside of work I love swimming, bouldering, cooking for others and spending time with my family – my mum and brothers the most.

Click on Suhailah’s video to hear more about her role.