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InPsych 2015 | Vol 37

Psychology in current issues

Great things can happen when psychologists and the public work together

The public is interested in psychology and psychologists have an important role to play in raising awareness of psychology and the work of psychologists in improving the lives of Australians.

Psychologists make a major contribution to the community through practice with individuals, families and organisations and psychological research has led to improvements in many areas of Australian life. The high level of calls, web visits, social media followers and media inquiries received by the APS attests to the thirst for psychological knowledge and assistance. Australians are interested in learning about psychology in general and also understanding how psychology can help them.

However, there is still some public uncertainty about what psychologists do and how they differ from, for example, psychiatrists. To help, the APS has recently created a new initiative to raise the public profile of psychology by promoting its benefits to the community.

‘We Are Psychology’

The aim of the new We Are Psychology campaign is to raise the public profile of psychology and the application of psychological expertise to enhance the wellbeing, health and performance of Australians. You may have seen the accompanying ‘tag line’ “Better Minds, Better Lives” that we’ve also developed to further remind the public that, broadly, all aspects of psychology have the power to turn lives around for the better.

The campaign will not only introduce, explain and engage audiences about psychology, but also aim to add a more personal element by showcasing the stories behind the profession – APS members making a difference to the lives of Australians in a myriad of ways. A new website – wearepsychology.com – will be a hub for materials and become a ‘go to’ source of public-friendly information about psychology as well as link to relevant psychology services.

Firstly, we want Australians to understand how psychology can help them and how to access help. Secondly, we want them to recognise that APS psychologists stand for trusted high quality psychological care and information. By making the APS and APS psychologists synonymous with psychology we build ‘brand’ recognition and trust with the public.

Over the longer term, we are working on ways for our members to be part of this campaign and to capitalise on this recognition, making it easier for members to access APS member logos and personally branded resources and products so the profession has greater community presence and profile. Through our network of more than 22,000 members we have a great opportunity to demonstrate the value of psychology and increase the wellbeing of Australians.

The APS also aims to increase the public presence of psychology through attendance at relevant events or conferences. Already this year, the APS has had a presence at the Rural Health Conference in Darwin as well at the Wellness Conference in Sydney, with strong public feedback at both events where people were keen for information and resources.

The campaign has been developed in response to member feedback indicating a desire to see the APS increase promotional activities for psychology and APS psychologists in the public arena. We will be engaging members to contribute to this campaign – your expertise and your stories will be critical to making it a success. In the meantime, we invite you to visit wearepsychology.com and share the link with colleagues, friends and clients.

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.