Physiotherapy and mental health

Physiotherapy and mental health

World Physical Therapy Day – September 8th 2018

Today is World Physical Day and we will explore the role that physiotherapy and physical activity has in mental health. World Physical Therapy Day is held every year in September and is a great opportunity to join together with other physiotherapists around the world to promote a shared message to the public.

The WCPT say that this years 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.


One thing is for sure – whatever your field of physiotherapy you will see people who have mental health issues. You only have to look at the infographic above to realise if you work in musculoskeletal clinic – you will see people with depression. If you work in neurology – you will see people with depression. If you work with older adults – you will see people with depression.

But how often do you look beyond the physical and consider the mental health of the people you treat? How much does any mental health issues impact on the effectiveness of your physiotherapeutic interventions?


The World PT day toolkit

World PT day resource page – lots of evidence links

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