Manifesto for social change

Ella Rhodes reports.

Psychologists for Social Change have released a manifesto with the aim of encouraging a psychologically healthy society which creates less distress, in the run-up to the election and beyond. Aimed at psychologists, and anyone with a passion for good mental health and wellbeing, the manifesto points to ways that society can move past the inequality and effects of austerity and toward a society that “causes less emotional harm to its citizens”.

Founded in 2014 Psychologists for Social Change (PSC) has a number of local groups across the UK which aim to apply psychology to policy and political action. In creating this manifesto PSC drew on other manifestos by the National Survivor and User Network and Kindred Minds and structured their recommendations around the five qualities of a psychologically healthy society, agency, safety, connection, meaning and trust, described in the PSC briefing paper The Psychological Effects of Austerity.  

Regarding 'agency' PSC suggested coproduction in developing policy and bringing community psychology into the mainstream. Under its 'safety' heading PSC suggested addressing insecurity in the benefits system and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. 

To help address 'connection', among other recommendations, PSC suggested addressing loneliness and introducing a universal basic income allowing people to spend less time working. To promote 'meaning' it suggests promoting meaningful and good quality work; to promote 'trust' the manifesto suggested addressing the “multiple disadvantages to good mental health” faced by people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. 

To read the full manifesto and recommendations please see: psychchange.org/psc-manifesto-2019.html

See also the British Psychological Society's own manifesto.

If you would be interested in starting a Psychologists for Social Change group in your area please see: psychchange.org/start-a-new-group.html

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