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InPsych 2015 | Vol 37

August | Issue 4

Psychology in current issues

Psychology Week 2015: Talking psychology to the nation

Now in its thirteenth year, Psychology Week aims to engage the public in a range of activities and resources that show how psychology can make a positive difference to people’s lives.

Over the last 12 years, Psychology Week (8-14 November 2015) has developed a profile among media and some sections of the community. The aim this year is to expand the reach of the campaign by inviting the public and a wider range of organisations to become more actively involved.

At National Office we have been talking to international affiliates, the sister societies with whom the APS has Memoranda of Understanding, and there is great interest in participating in Psychology Week this year. Hence the name change from National Psychology Week to Psychology Week to allow for the eventual transition to a more international event.

The major focus of the Psychology Week campaign for 2015 will be social media. Millions of Australians are active on social media, with many people using it as their main source of news and information as well as a key means of communication both personally and professionally. Social media is also shaping the lives of Australians in many ways, changing the way people behave and engage, how they relate and how they perceive themselves.

Therefore, a special feature of this year’s APS Stress and Wellbeing survey will be to examine the impact of social media on people’s stress levels and wellbeing as well as their behaviour. Associated online resources and activities offering advice and information will be developed and promoted during Psychology Week via an expanded social media campaign.

Join the Psychology Week campaign!

Member participation is central to the success of Psychology Week. More than 500 events were successfully organised by APS members last year from community festivals to forums and webinars, public lectures, community displays and afternoon teas. This year the aim is to build on these Psychology Week event numbers while also encouraging increased participation via media engagement and social media.

Psychology Week event registration will be available later this month via www.psychologyweek.com. Every registered Psychology Week event is entitled to an event promotional pack including posters, APS stress tip sheets and more to help bring your event to life. The Psychology Week website also has a range of downloadable resources.

Networking

Each member is connected to a community of friends, family, peers, colleagues and clients, many of whom will have an interest in the Psychology Week theme as well as the advice and information being made available through resources (videos, podcasts, tipsheets). Using your networks within your organisation and community can be an effective way to spread the word about the week and the value of psychology.

Media engagement

Media engagement is a key vehicle for increasing the public’s understanding and knowledge of psychology and how psychologists are making a difference to the lives of Australians. Each year, during Psychology Week the APS conducts a national media campaign which largely focuses on disseminating the results of the annual survey (see box below).

In addition to this national campaign, APS members are encouraged to look for local opportunities to garner media coverage where a particular event is likely to spark interest.

Social media

Social media will be a critical part of the campaign – a way to share stories, resources and advice and engage in dialogue around key issues. By harnessing our combined social media networks we have the capacity to reach thousands of people.

The APS has accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, while many Member Groups also run social media accounts.

National Office will be producing shareable materials that will be available on the APS social media channels as well as on the website. Members can participate by liking, sharing and retweeting PW posts and content or posting under the hashtag #psychweek on Twitter.

Annual survey to focus on stresses associated with social media

The APS will conduct its annual state-of-the-nation Stress and Wellbeing Survey, measuring the levels of stress, distress and wellbeing among adult Australians and particularly examining how social media participation affects wellbeing and influences behaviour. An additional focus of this year’s survey will be to explore the social media phenomenon of fear of missing out (often referred to as FOMO!). This aspect of the survey will examine the degree to which Australians, young and old, share concerns about FOMO and how this may uniquely affect younger versus older Australians. The 2015 survey results will be released during Psychology Week.

References

Disclaimer: Published in InPsych on August 2015. The APS aims to ensure that information published in InPsych is current and accurate at the time of publication. Changes after publication may affect the accuracy of this information. Readers are responsible for ascertaining the currency and completeness of information they rely on, which is particularly important for government initiatives, legislation or best-practice principles which are open to amendment. The information provided in InPsych does not replace obtaining appropriate professional and/or legal advice.