The Malta Association of Physiotherapists (MAP) held a series of events revolving around this year’s theme, ‘Physiotherapy and Mental Health’. The celebrations started with an awareness campaign by releasing posters and pictures promoting physical activity and the role of the physiotherapist in mental health. This was carried out through different social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. T-shirts and lapel pins were also created to be distributed to the general public on the day. The MAP was also invited on one of the leading radio stations to speak about the event. Numerous meetings with different entities were made in the run-up to the event.
The main event set up by the association was held on the 8th of September and targeted the general public. It kicked off with a yoga class where passers-by were encouraged to join the class that was being carried out in the middle of the square. This was followed up by an intense one-hour plyometric class, focusing on body weight exercises as well as obstacle management. The final hour was then divided between four activities; a dance class, a basic martial arts class, a handball game by one of Malta’s first division handball teams (Kavallieri) and a rugby session by the RFC Wolves. Refreshments and giveaways were provided to all the participants.
The President of the Republic, Her Excellency Marie-Louise ColeiroPreca, graciously visited the event. In a speech she commended all the effort and work that went in promoting the event and in raising awareness about the importance of physical activity and mental health. She acknowledged and encouraged physiotherapists and physiotherapy students alike to continue to actively promote the importance of physical activity in the context of mental health.
The event was well received by the public and featured on the evening news.
Physiotherapy departments from the public sector in Malta also organised events to celebrate this day. The Mental Health Physiotherapy Department at Mount Carmel Hospital organised a mental health awareness week with several talks and classes being organised at the premises. Physiotherapists working at the inpatient and outpatient departments at Karin Grech rehabilitation Hospital produced an awareness campaign with posters and leaflets for outpatients and relatives and held group exercise classes. The posters provided by WCPT were also translated in Maltese by physiotherapists working at the outpatients department. At the acute Mater Dei Hospital, a walk was carried out around the perimeter of the building. Exercise classes, promotional posters and leaflets were distributed around all the entities.