37 Chapter 4 Conclusions This research has brought the following to attention. All areas proposed by the research questions listed in the first chapter had some influence on occupational therapy practice in mental health, but their comparative levels were hard to measure. Education and fieldwork play an important part in the socialization of occupational therapy students and in the reduction of stigma attached to mental illness. Public and occupational therapy student perceptions of mental illness are negative, despite efforts to change them, and make it difficult for students to overcome their hesitations towards practicing in mental health. The incentives and disincentives play a role in an OT’s choice to practice in mental health, but are subjective and therefore difficult to measure as they are based personal values. Current mental health policies affect the practice of occupational therapy in mental health by making it more or less difficult to practice and add to the responsibilities of practitioners the need to keep informed about issues pertaining to new policies. Current funding and insurance systems make practice in the mental health field more difficult due to the ambiguity of laws and requirements pertaining to occupational therapy.