A psychological manifesto

We bring you our own content related to the new British Psychological Society call to the political parties.

In the run up to the election the British Psychological Society has published a psychological manifesto, calling for all political parties to consider how psychological evidence and expertise can improve policy making and to commit to including psychologically informed policies in their manifestos.

The BPS outlined three overarching priorities:

1. A cross government strategy for the youngest children
In The Psychologist, we’ve featured Mark Johnson on the constructive process of early brain development and Michael Thomas on the developmental window of opportunity in the first years of life. Claire Hughes looked at the factors contributing to ‘school readiness’, including environment, in four-year-olds, and Marinus van IJzendoorn told us about the concept of orchid and dandelion children. Emma Young suggested five ways to raise the resilient child.

2. Truly transformational prevention
Ella Rhodes reported on the government’s prevention plan in April, pointing to the absence of a role for psychologists in the plan, and Jon Sutton reported on examples of positive prevention. A number of psychologists contributed to ‘austerity psychology’, outlining the psychological impact of austerity, including reduction in services.

3. Action to take communities from poverty to flourishing
‘From poverty to flourishing’ is the Society’s priority for 2020, as reported on by Ella Rhodes. Ingrid Schoon and Mel Bartley outlined the harm to health and wellbeing of growing up in poverty, and Gary Thomas looked at the ‘gradient effect’. Peter Kinderman looked at the impact of poverty on mental health for the Research Digest, and we’ve featured a range of articles and interviews on homelessness.

The Society also provided evidence-based recommendations for many departments that should form part of the new government’s domestic agenda, including:

Health and social care – including evidence-based behaviour change
Ella Rhodes reported on the need for a psychologically-informed workforce in the NHS. We have created a collection of articles on obesity, and we’ve featured an article from the Human Behaviour Change Project on how to make use of evidence on health (and environmental) problems. We have a special collection on the new psychology of health, considering how to unlock the social cure.

Education – including support for students
We recently published a special collection on schooling the good citizen, with articles on school-based approaches to mental health, teaching gender equality and respect, building resilience to radicalisation and more.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – including a focus on healthy ageing
Ella Rhodes investigated the suggestion that working into older age benefits health and wellbeing. We have produced The Psychologist Guide to… Retirement, with ten evidence-based tips, and we’ve got an exclusive chapter from 'The Psychology of Retirement' by Doreen Rosenthal and Susan Moore. Laura Soulsby and Kate Bennett considered how relationships help us to age well, and Gloria Luong looked at why emotional experiences get better with age.

Work and Pensions – including workforce wellbeing
We have created a collection of articles on improving wellbeing at work and work life balance, with top tips from Sharon De Mascia.

Equalities office – an end to conversion therapy
Ella Rhodes reported on a Coalition Against Conversion Therapy event, including some results of a national survey of LGBT people.

Read the full manifesto.

And if you're interested in the General Election, politicians and voting, revisit our collection from June 2017.

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