International Organization of Physical Therapists in Mental Health (IOPTMH)

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The International Organization of Physical Therapy in Mental Health (IOPTMH), is a subgroup including 21 member countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK. 

The IOPTMH was accepted as a subgroup at our 17th general meeting, in Amsterdam in 2011 and reconfirmed in 2015 and 2019.

The subgroup was developed from an international network of physiotherapists working in the field of psychiatry and mental health.

Physiotherapy in mental health

Physiotherapy in mental health is a specialty implemented in different health and mental health settings, psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. It is person-centered and provided for children, adolescents, adults and older people with mild, moderate and severe, acute and chronic mental health problems, in primary and community care, inpatients and outpatients.

Physiotherapists in mental health provide health promotion, preventive health care, treatment and rehabilitation for individuals, groups and in group therapeutic settings. Physiotherapists in mental health create a therapeutic relationship to provide assessment and services specifically related to the complexity of mental health within a supportive environment applying a model including biological and psycho-social aspects.

Physiotherapy in mental health aims to optimise wellbeing and empower the individual by promoting functional movement, movement awareness, physical activity and exercises, bringing together physical and mental aspects. Physiotherapists in mental health contribute to the multidisciplinary team and inter-professional care. Physiotherapy in mental health is based on the available scientific and best clinical evidence.

Objectives

The objectives according to the IOPTMHs' constitution are to:

  • foster co-operation between physiotherapists practicing in mental health throughout the world
  • encourage improved standards and consistency of practice in mental health care by physiotherapists
  • advance practice by communication and exchange of information
  • encourage scientific research and promote opportunities for the spread of knowledge of new developments in the field of mental health
  • assist World Physiotherapy member organisations in the development of recognised sub-sections in mental health

Year subgroup recognised

2011