The International Organization of Physical Therapy in Mental Health (IOPTMH), is a subgroup with 26 member organizations from: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK.
The IOPTMH was accepted as a subgroup in the 17th general meeting of World Physiotherapy, 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 optimize 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.
World Physiotherapy in Mental Health
The International Organization of Physical Therapy in Mental Health (IOPTMH) is a World Physiotherapy subgroup, including member organizations from all over the World. The IOPTMH was accepted as a World Physiotherapy subgroup at the 17th WCPT General Meeting, in Amsterdam, 2011 and reconfirmed in 2015 and 2019. The subgroup was developed from an international network of physical therapists working in the field of mental health
The IOPTMH wants to bring the contribution of physical therapists in mental health into the spotlight. It is important for society, for the patient, for the clinical practice as well as the relationship with other professionals to create and strengthen a culture of physiotherapy in mental health.
The IOPTMH organizes every second year an international conference. The purpose of these conferences is to stimulate a dialogue between colleagues, to promote the exchange of experiences and bring new ideas to improve society’s wellbeing and mental health.
Beside the official biannual IOPTMH conference, the IOPTMH aims to stimulate and support worldwide activities related with the promotion of physiotherapy in mental health. Workshops, round table discussions, policy documents and research projects are some examples of the activities of the IOPTMH in the field of mental health physiotherapy.
The objectives according to the IOPTMHs' constitution are to:
Foster co-operation between physiotherapists practicing in mental health throughout the world.
Encourage scientific research and promote opportunities for the spread of knowledge of new developments in the field of mental health.
Encourage improved standards and consistency of practice in mental health care by physiotherapists.
Assist World Physiotherapy member organizations in the development of recognized sub-sections in mental health.
Advance practice by communication and exchange of information.
How to become a member
To become a member organization of IOPTMH, the national physiotherapy association must be a World Physiotherapy member organization. For further information, please contact us.
Interested colleague, stay connected
If you are not part of a national member organization but would like to be connected with IOPTMH, you can be included in our mailing list by filling this box with your email.
How IOPTMH is organized
The IOPTMH is governed by its Member Organizations.
The daily functioning of the organization is conducted by the Members of the Executive Committee.
Norma Elisa Gálvez
The Executive Committee is greatly supported by the following Committees.
Committee for Education
Norma Elisa Gálvez Olvera
Jorgelina della Casa
Committee for Clinical Practice
Tine Van Damme
Committee for Research
Angel Eduardo Alvarado
Committee for Communication & Institutional Relations
Salam Gómez Motta
(delegate: Ulrika Wallbing)