September 8 is World Physical Therapy Day: Keeping mental health in a busy society

3 September 2018 12:01 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



World Physical Therapy Day takes place every year on 8th September. The day is an opportunity for physical therapists from all over the world to raise awareness about the crucial contribution the profession makes to keeping people well, mobile and independent.
The campaign message of World Physical Therapy Day 2018 is Physical therapy and mental health, demonstrating the role that physical therapy and physical activity have on mental health.
According to the WHO, There were close to 800, 000 suicides worldwide in 2016. This indicates an annual global age-standardized suicide rate of 10.5 per 100, 000 population.
The major differences between high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are that young adults and elderly women in LMICs have much higher suicide rates than their counterparts in high-income countries, while middle-aged men in high-income countries have much higher suicide rates than middle-aged men in LMICs.

800, 000 persons approximately die from suicide globally each year (one death every 40 seconds) 2.8%was the median number of the health budget allocated to mental health in 2011 60 countries had less than 1 psychiatrist per 100 000 population in 2014
World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) is the sole international voice for physical therapy, representing more than 350,000 physical therapists worldwide through its 106 member organizations.
Sri Lanka is also a member of the WCPT since 2003. In 1996, WCPT designated 8th September as World Physiotherapy Day.
This is the date WCPT was founded in 1951. The day marks the unity and solidarity of the global physiotherapy community. It is an opportunity to recognize the work that physiotherapists do for their patients and community.
WCPT encourages physical therapists around the world to use WCPT’s toolkit to convey these messages to the public and policymakers.


  • The campaign is focused around the following key messages.
  • Exercise as an evidence-based treatment for depression.
  • The role of physical therapists working with patients who may have mental health issues.
  • The benefits of physical activity in protecting against the emergence of depression.
  • How better outcomes are experienced when exercise is delivered by a qualified healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist.
  • How people with mental health issues are more at risk of having poor physical health.

These messages are important not just to encourage health and activity in populations. They can help demonstrate how physical therapists keep people moving through interventions which maximize strength and mobility. Through advice and exercise programmes, physical therapists support people of all ages to achieve activity goals.
Since 2003 we have commemorated the World Physical Therapy Day with various programmes.  Using World Physiotherapy Day as a focus, this year also the Charted Society of Physiotherapy Sri Lanka (CSPSL) aims to organize several programmes to promote the profession among the nation and advance the use of profession by the public.
However, we have experienced that there is a gap in public awareness of the majority of the public. Therefore we have decided to improve the public awareness programmes about the physiotherapy profession.

In 2017 to mark the World Physical Therapy Day, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (Sri Lanka) conducted a series of events. The objective of this programme was to enhance the awareness of the public about prevention and the pre- and post-management of physical fitness when dealing with diseases, injuries and complications, assuring the well-being of life. The programme consisted of five free physiotherapy clinics, four public awareness workshops and two sports injury management workshops. More than a thousand individuals, including patients, benefited from the programme.
Wide coverage was also given to the events in the media, including twelve television interviews.
With the guidance and contribution of 22 physiotherapists representing CSP (SL), the final day of the programme was held the day before World Physical Therapy Day on 7th September in Thelkumuduwala, a rural village in Sri Lanka. Free clinical and awareness events were offered, demonstrating the sense of value and importance of the physical therapy to the hearts of the public.
In view of marking the World Physiotherapy Day, Physio Lifecare (Sri Lanka) conducted a series of events.


  • In view of Physiotherapy Day, Physio Lifecare (SL) conducted a series of events

  • This series includes coverage on six media (television) channels

  • The final day of the programme will be held  on September 6

The programme focused on this year’s Physical Activity for Life message and raising public awareness of the importance of physical fitness. Two free physiotherapy clinics were carried out, along with fifteen exercise workshops, three public awareness workshops and five sports injury management workshops serving more than ten thousand individuals including patients.
This series includes coverage on six media (television) channels.
The final day of the programme will be held  on September 6 in Pannala, a rural village in Sri Lanka offering free exercise workshops and awareness events, as well as a television programme on national television (ITN) Sri Lanka.

An inter-school quiz competition was organised to celebrate World Physical Therapy Day on 8th September. It was organised by the Physiotherapy Students’ Welfare Society, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, the University of Colombo. 
We have identified that inclusion of the September 8, as the World Physical Therapy Day into the appropriate documents such as calendars, diaries, year planners etc. would be greatly useful to improve the public awareness.

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