Increasing awareness of psychology, psychological concerns and roles for psychologists in enhancing community wellbeing.

Planning for this year's National Psychology Week (NPW) in November is well underway at National Office. NPW is now in its seventh year, and aims to achieve its goal of increasing community awareness of psychology and the contributions of its practitioners through three distinct initiatives.

Hosting events, presentations and displays by psychologists across urban and rural Australia where the focus is on raising community awareness of psychology in a variety of ways. Each year, the number of events being hosted has increased, with last year's total nearing 900 events.

Conducting a national survey on a topic of interest and relevance to the community where psychology has a significant role to play. This year, the NPW survey is on the social and psychological impacts of social networking.

Carrying out an extensive NPW media campaign, at both the national and local level, that aims to provide accessible information to assist the public in understanding psychology, the nature of psychological concerns and the roles psychologists play in enhancing community wellbeing.

Getting involved

APS members can become involved in all three NPW initiatives.Now is the time to begin thinking about your own participation in NPW 2010.

Hosting an event or display

The APS provides a range of free NPW promotional materials to support psychologists hosting an event or display. These promotional materials can assist with gaining exposure in both the workplace and the local community and include give-aways such as bookmarks, pens, postcards and tip sheets, as well as posters and other display items.

NPW events or displays may be open to the public or may be organised as a private event by invitation only. Some examples to consider are provided below.

  • Setting up an NPW display at your local library or university
  • Hosting a night for parents at a local school or kindergarten
  • Meeting the public at a stand in your local shopping centre
  • Publicly speaking on a psychology related topic of local interest
  • Providing posters and NPW promotional products to display at local GP clinics
  • Holding a morning or afternoon tea in your workplace
  • Offering to speak about psychology at a meeting of a local community group e.g., Rotary
  • Playing golf with other local psychologists and health professionals as a networking activity.

Please visit the NPW website at www.psychologyweek.com.au to register your event, order your pack of free promotional products and to read more about the range of NPW events being held across the country each year. Try out the new Google maps search functionality on the home page, which enables you to find events of interest and to see what other events are being held in the same area.

Supporting the NPW survey

Each year the APS conducts a survey investigating a current topic of relevance or concern to the community. The NPW community survey topic for 2010 is the social and psychological impacts of social networking. The APS invites members to support this NPW initiative by assisting with the promotion or distribution of the survey to the public. This support can include, for example, providing hard copies of the survey at local libraries, or displaying a promotional flyer at a community centre which includes the link address to the online survey.

Once ethics approval has been finalised, the NPW survey link and further details about how you can support the survey will be distributed through APS Matters.

Engaging with the media

The NPW media campaign carried out by the media team at National Office focuses on the NPW survey results as well as a number of other psychology topic areas. In addition, APS members have the opportunity to make contact with the media in their local area and highlight the work done by psychologists in the community.

Please visit the ‘Resources' section of the NPW website at www.psychologyweek.com.au and click on ‘Engaging with the media' to read some helpful tips on contacting your local media, writing a media release, conducting a media interview and more.

National Psychology Week's success in raising awareness of psychology in the public domain depends, in part, on the support and engagement of APS members. This can be through hosting events and displays across urban and rural locales, assisting the APS with the promotion and distribution of the NPW survey, and finding ways to bring psychology to the community through the media. We look forward to your participation in National Psychology Week 2010 and thank you for your involvement.

Dr Lynne Casey MAPS
Senior Manager, Communications and Public Interest National Office

InPsych August 2010