Psychologists Against Austerity Campaign Strategy and Plan - A Work in Progress

Psychologists Against Austerity

Campaign Strategy and Plan - November 2014

This campaign was set up to help make the argument against further implementation of austerity policies in the run up to the General Election next May. We want to harness the knowledge and power of both Psychology, and Psychologists, which has been largely missing from this debate so far. Our campaign has taken two routes:

Strategy 1: Mobilising Psychologists

For this part of the campaign, we are focusing on mobilising professional and student Psychologists to make noise about austerity policies. This is an inclusive strategy; our aim is to encourage people to take action, but the particular slant they take ‘against austerity’ is open to the person.

Current actions

Letter to MPs and Local and National Press

We want to get all psychologists active and politically engaged. We want all psychologists to be writing to their MP and candidates in the run up to the general election, outlining the psychosocial impact of the unnecessary austerity regime

To be available on our upcoming website! In the form of information which people can use as they wish, focusing on the impact of austerity which is personal to them. We have included information on: cuts to mental health services; creating poverty and inequality; creating an atmosphere of fear and blame. 

Letter to 'The Psychologist'

We are aiming to gather support for this letter from different professional arms of the BPS. 

Development of an 'Everyday Austerity' Website

The website to be launched soon will provide a space for psychologists and other health professionals and service users to anonymously post the impact of austerity on their everyday experiences, lives and service provision or use.

Strategy 2: Mobilising Psychological Knowledge

For this part of the campaign, we want to make the argument that the societal conditions which are being created as part of austerity are damaging, dangerous, and create distress. This part of the campaign therefore focusses on highlighting the contribution that community psychology perspectives can make to this debate.

Current actions

Briefing note

A briefing note has been written which outlines the ‘Psychological impacts of austerity’. To be distributed to campaigning organisations, and as a press release. We have identified some key experiences which are being created by austerity policies, and their known links to causing mental distress. Based on these, we have proposed ‘5 Foundations of a Psychologically Healthy Society’: Agency, Security, Belonging, Respect, Trust.

House of Lords campaign launch event

We are organising an event at the House of Lords next year to highlight and explore these issues and launch the campaign to policy-makers the media.

What can I do?   

If you are interested in the campaign, then please join us and this group! Keep a look out for the website, which will be online very soon. Either join our group, or set up your own, and we can build national network of campaigners. We are also really interested in building links with groups with similar aims as well.

Contact us through this NING

Comment by Scott Bartle on December 14, 2014 at 16:15

Brilliant: Love the idea of an 'every day austerity' website. 

In my local borough they are cutting all services for children and young people, support services for people and their families with dementia, other older adult services and services that are specifically targeted at various minority groups

My example of 'everyday austerity' - I'm aware of someone that upon leaving mental health services that was placed in temporary accommodation that had no heating, no hot water, no white goods (fridge / cooker) and no flooring - Just an empty flat with splattering of damp - no joined up thinking and no thoughts as to this persons well-being being placed somewhere like that. 

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