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World Physical Therapy Day Staying mentally fit in a busy world

8 September 2018 12:09 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The World Physical Therapy Day, observed annually on September 8, gives the opportunity for physical therapists to raise awareness on their contribution to keep people well, mobile and independent. This year’s theme “PHYSICAL THERAPY AND MENTAL HEALTH” demonstrates the role played by physical therapy and physical activity in mental health.

Age-standardised suicide rates: WHO 

There were close to 800,000 suicide deaths worldwide in 2016. This indicates an annual global age-standardised suicide rate of 10.5 per 100,000 people. 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. Some 800,000 people die from suicide each year (one death every 40 seconds). 2.8% was the median amount of the health budget allocated to mental health in 2011. At least 60 countries had less than 1 psychiatrist per 100,000 people in 2014.  

The World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) is the sole international voice for physical therapy, representing more than 350,000 physical therapists through its 106 member organisations. Sri  Lanka is also a member of the WCPT since 2003. 

In 1996, it designated September 8 as the World Physiotherapy Day.This is the date the WCPT was founded in 1951.The day marks the unity and solidarity of the global physiotherapy community. It is an opportunity to recognise the work physiotherapists do for their patients and the community at large. 

WCPT encourages physical therapists around the world to use its 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, but can help demonstrate how physical therapists keep people moving through interventions which maximise strength and mobility. Through advice and exercise programmes, physical therapists support people of all ages to achieve activity goals. 

Since 2003, we commemorated the World Physical Therapy Day with various programmes. Using World Physiotherapy Day as a focus, this year too, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Sri Lanka (CSPSL) aims at organising several programmes to promote the profession among the nation and advance the use of profession by public. However, we have found out that a majority aren’t aware of this subject, which is why we have decided to hold public awareness programmes on the physiotherapy profession.

 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy 
(Sri  Lanka)

To mark the World Physical Therapy Day, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (Sri Lanka) conducted a series of events. The objective of these programmes was to enhance awareness among the public about prevention and pre- and post-management of physical fitness when dealing with diseases, injuries and complications, assuring the wellbeing of life. 

The programmes consisted of five free physiotherapy clinics, four public awareness workshops and two sport injury management workshops. More than a thousand individuals including patients benefitted from these programmes. Also, wide media coverage was given. This included twelve television interviews.   

With the guidance and contribution of 22 physiotherapists representing CSPSL, the final programme was held on September 7 in Thelkumuduwala, a rural village in Sri  Lanka. Free clinical and awareness events were organised, demonstrating the sense of value and importance of physical therapy. 

Physio Life Care  (Sri Lanka) 

To mark the World Physiotherapy Day, Physio Life Care (Sri  Lanka) conducted a series of events. They focused on this year’s “Physical Activity for Life” message and raised public awareness on the importance of physical fitness. Two free physiotherapy clinics were carried out, along with fifteen exercise workshops, three public awareness workshops and five sport injury management workshops serving more than ten thousand individuals including patients. This series included coverage on six television channels. 

The final programme was held on September 6 in Pannala, offering free exercise workshops and awareness events, as well as a television programme on ITN. 


Some 800,000 people die from suicide each year (one death every 40 seconds). 2.8% was the median amount of the health budget allocated to mental health in 2011. At least 60 countries had less than 1 psychiatrist per 100,000 people in 2014

Physiotherapy Students’ Welfare Society

An inter-school quiz competition was organised to celebrate the World Physical Therapy Day on September 8. It was organised by the Physiotherapy Students’ Welfare Society, Department of Allied Health Sciences, ColomboUniversity Medicine Faculty. 

To raise public awareness on the subject matter, the World Physical Therapy Day should be mentioned in documents such as calendars, diaries and 
year planners. 

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