Source: PSYCHOLOGISTS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
Psychologists Against Austerity are changing our name to reflect the full range of work that we do. We’re now Psychologists for Social Change!
Psychologists for Social Change is a network of applied psychologists, academics, therapists, psychology graduates and others who are interested in applying psychology to policy and political action. We believe that people’s social, political and material contexts are central to their experiences as individuals. We aim to encourage more psychologists to draw on our shared experience and knowledge to engage in public and policy debates.
The group started in 2014, when members of the London Community Psychology Network came together to address growing concerns about austerity policies. This lead to a number of meetings in London, and a workshop at the Community Psychology Section Festival. This lead to the development of the briefing paper on the Psychological Impact of Austerity. The briefing paper was launched at the House of Lords in March 2015, followed swifly by our first Week of Action.
Since then, we have spread through the country with a number of local groups, and many more events, actions and publications.
Our central aims have remained the same since those first early meetings. They are:
One of our central missions has always been to encourage more psychologists to become involed in political and social action. To this end we have developed training for Clinical Psychology Trainees, spoken at conferences, and provided supervision for policy placements.
Mobilising Psychological Knowledge
We also aim to disseminate psychological knowledge and research in ways that are relevant to current policy concerns. We understand that one of the resources that psychologists have is an understanding of communication and persuasion. This was the impetus for our briefing papers on the Psychological Impact of Austerity and Improving Discussion on Inequality.
Influencing Public and Policy Debates
Drawing on both these resources, of people and knowledge, we aim to move psychologically informed discussion into the public sphere. This has included examining specific policies for their psychological impact, as well as responding to specific policy announcements and media reports.
Campaigns and Actions
You can read and download Psychologists Against Austerity: mobilising psychology for social change, published as free content in Critical and Radical Social Work, Volume 4, Number 3, November 2016, pp. 409-413(5) here