By Liani Austin

As occupational therapists (OTs) we pride ourselves as “team players”. We take hands and work within a multi-disciplinary team, along with fellow healthcare professionals, because we truly believe that “together we are stronger”. OTs therefore do not grab the whole pie and gobble it all up themselves. Instead, they respectfully share this pie with other professionals and in so, enjoy it together, which often leads to learning from each other over a warm and welcoming “cup of tea”. This in turn helps to ensure that our patients get access to the all-round care that they deserve.

An association like The South African Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professionals (SA-ACAPAP) is a platform for OTs to do just the above. To share. To grow. To lead.

S – South

A – African

A – Association of

C – Child and

A – Adolescent

P – Psychiatry and

A – Allied

P – Professions

SA-ACAPAP is an association for professionals who work with children and adolescents, and who have a special interest in their patients’ mental health (and of course in light of holistic development of a child). Currently on board there are psychiatrists,  paediatricians, psychologists, social workers, OTs and speech therapists to name only a few.

SA-ACAPAP was founded in 1978 and is at the forefront of a bi-annually conference where psychiatrists, psychologists and allied professionals come together in South-Africa to have that “cup of tea”. It gives a voice to our healthcare professionals where not only the latest research is shared, but also how we can all enrich our patients’ lives, simply by knowing more.

Dr Annamarie van Jaarsveld flew our SAISI flag high during the 2017 SA-ACAPAP conference where she presented the following: Nurturing our Future: Autism spectrum disorder and related neurodevelopmental disabilities / Mental health of infants, children and families / Adolescent mental health and well-being.

In 2019 we were proudly represented at the conference by Dr Janine van der Linde who presented Sustaining Development: Investing in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

SAISI is proud to have a seat on the SA-ACAPAP board, currently held by our beloved Ray Anne Cook. She represents not only SAISI, but all our Ayres Sensory Integration® (ASI®) trained OTs in South Africa. This gives us a voice to spread the word about the magic of ASI®. Who exactly we are, our training history and what difference we can make. Leaving our professional legacy behind is important, so that we can not only continue doing what we do best, but also to ensure that future generations of OTs can continue to make such a big change in their patients’ lives.

SAISI encourages OTs to consider becoming a member of SA-ACAPAP. Benefits as listed on their website include:

  • Reduced SA-ACAPAP conference registration fees.
  • Automatic membership of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (IACAPAP), as well as reduced IACAPAP conference registration fees.
  • Access to regional events focused on child and adolescent mental health, as well as free online resources.
  • Emerging researchers and clinicians who are SA-ACAPAP members are eligible for SA-ACAPAP’s bi-annual Emerging Researcher Workshops; where emerging researchers and clinicians from across the continent are paired with the leaderships in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, while nurturing and developing their skills as emerging researchers.
  • SA-ACAPAP members are eligible for Conference Travel Awards and Grants.
  • Online multi-disciplinary complex case discussions are also planned for this year, which we know will benefit SAISI members greatly.

For more information have a look at their website: Also feel free to have a look at the promotional video on their home page ( where optimizing the mental health of children and adolescents is highlighted through multi-disciplinary collaboration.