Ellise McLoughlan
Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
National Office

National Psychology Week was built on the foundation that psychologists themselves are best placed to promote the discipline of psychology and the variety of roles that psychologists play in their local communities.

In 2009, more psychologists than ever embraced the week from 8-14 November, helping to raise the profile of psychology and the APS. Around 900 NPW product packs were ordered though the online system on the National Psychology Week website, up from 600 packs in 2008. This figure alone shows the enthusiasm and willingness of psychologists to unite in their efforts to promote psychology.

Each product pack contained over 100 items to assist those holding an activity or event. The products included pens, sticky note pads, beach balls, fridge magnet clips, balloons, tote bags, tip sheets, bookmarks and posters. Anecdotal feedback from participants indicated that the popularity of the NPW product was dependent on the audience. For example, some event organisers found the balloons and beach balls to be a real benefit in keeping children entertained as they spoke to their parents, while other organisers preferred the pens and sticky note pads as these were better suited to promoting a private practice to adults and GPs.

The beauty of holding a National Psychology Week event or activity is that it can be as large or small as the organiser chooses. Many psychologists set up displays in their offices or practices and encourage visitors to take an NPW product. Using the week as an opportunity to visit or write to local GPs is another common activity and the ‘APS Psychologists' brochure is distributed with the psychologist's details stamped onto the space on the rear. Others choose to join forces with fellow psychologists in their community to host a larger, public event, such as a shopping centre display, a wellbeing workshop or a networking evening. APS Branches often choose to use their extensive networks and combined skills to host large events, such as the Melbourne Branch expo which has grown substantially since its inception
in 2007.

It is pleasing to see an increasing number of members and member groups utilising the opportunity to seek media coverage as part of National Psychology Week. Following are a few excellent examples of members engaging with their local media.

  • Pam Gammie urged people to consider their mental health in an article in the Kiama Independent and promoted her National Psychology Week stall in the local mall.
  • Harry Theodore, Michale Grace, Kelli Travers and Edith Saedt received coverage about the launch of their Living Well clinic in the Daily News (Tweed Heads) as part of National Psychology Week.
  • David Sheehan of the Positively Kids clinic spoke to Port Macquarie News about the affect of bullying and offered some tips.

Online, print and broadcast media coverage was also achieved around the National Psychology Week survey on the psychological impact of the economic downturn. In addition, the National Office media team worked with several APS Colleges to develop media stories around specialist areas of psychology and highlight the diversity of the profession.

The APS appreciates the many and varied efforts of psychologists in engaging the community in National Psychology Week. With so many wonderful events around the country, it is difficult to highlight them all but we were lucky to receive many emails and photos that enable us to share a small selection of the successful events.

To view photos of events in 2009, visit the National Psychology Week website.

InPsych February 2010