Week in, week out, psychologists around Australia see the real difference that they make in individuals’ lives. For one week each year we ask you to share that contribution with the community around you. Opportunities for psychologists to meet with the public to educate them about psychology reaches a peak once each year, with National Psychology Week (NPW), which will be held from November 13 to 19 this year.
One of the great challenges of NPW is the immense diversity within the field it aims to promote – but this is also its great strength. Individual psychologists can plan events relevant to individuals or groups they might work with in future or who might benefit from more information on the evidence-based nature of psychological theories and interventions. Psychologists are ideally placed to identify the psychological concerns in their local community or workplace and can therefore customise NPW events to address particular issues.
Translating psychological concepts into simple, resonant messages is a crucial aspect of NPW. This year posters and promotional materials will heavily feature the catchline ‘Think Well. Be Well’, alongside a public health message spelling out the connection between psychological and physical health and psychologists’ role in behaviour change. A free selection of items is available to support NPW events, with two packs on offer this year: one suited to unstaffed displays, and another with items ideal for giving away at events hosted by psychologists.
Results of the annual research survey on a mental health and wellbeing topic are at the heart of the NPW media campaign each year, run from National Office. This year’s NPW research will focus on stress, a topic of interest throughout the community as well as the wider health sector, policy makers and the Government. Stress may also be a useful theme for events being planned in members' local areas or workplaces.
Members who have not organised events in the past, or who wish to team up to make a larger event possible, should contact their local APS Branch. NPW Branch representatives – a new initiative this year – have already been briefed on plans for NPW 2011 and are at work coordinating local events. They are a good port of call for ideas and support. Inspirations for events can also be found by reading the report of last year’s successful NPW in the February 2011 edition of InPsych, (available online at www.psychology.org.au/publications/inpsych/2011/feb/heywood/ ).
Registration of NPW events is now open via the dedicated website, www.psychologyweek.com.au, along with information on the product packs available to event organisers. Get in quickly, before supplies run out.
The Communications team welcomes your questions and ideas via email (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and looks forward to seeing the results of your efforts to ensure that, when it comes to the value and relevance of psychology, the Australian community is left in no doubt. n
Janene Trickey and Judith Heywood
Senior Coordinators, Communications