Founded in 2017, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Psychology is a cross-party group of members of parliament from both the commons and the lords.
All Party Parliamentary Group on Psychology
Its focus is on raising awareness amongst parliamentarians and policymakers of the importance and relevance of psychology, combining research and best practice briefings to ensure that MPs have access to a psychological, evidence-based approach to policy development.
To do this the APPG on Psychology calls on the experience and expertise of both psychologists and experts by experience to bring psychology to the heart of Westminster and to ensure that the psychological evidence base is integral to policy development.
The APPG on Psychology provides a valuable opportunity for parliamentarians to engage with individuals and organisations outside parliament with whom they share an interest not just in psychology as a discipline but also in the fundamental contributions that it can make towards tackling key societal issues.
The British Psychological Society (BPS) provides the Secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Psychology
The BPS is the learned and professional body for psychologists in the United Kingdom. The Society is a registered charity and has over 50,000 members.
Under its Royal Charter, the objective of the BPS is "to promote the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of psychology pure and applied and especially to promote the efficiency and usefulness of members by setting up a high standard of professional education and knowledge".
As such the Society is committed to providing evidence, expertise and advice, and promoting the highest standards in learning and teaching, professional practice and research.
The role of Secretariat is provided by Dr Lisa Morrison Coulthard, our Lead Policy Advisor and current Acting Director of Policy, with support from our Policy Administrator Carl Bourton, and they can be contacted via email at:
The APPG makes use of input and contributions from numerous sources in order to inform its actions and recommendations, including:
- our members – individually and collectively through the Member Networks
- various professional organisations, charities and other third sector groups
- other All Party Parliamentary Groups
- key individuals with relevant expertise
- ongoing research projects
The APPG is particularly keen to collaborate with other APPGs focused on areas of mutual concern.
Inaugural meeting July 2017
This meeting saw the election of the Officers of the APPG and overview by the Chair Lisa Cameron MP who emphasised the role of the APPG and the importance of a psychological evidence base.
A presentation by Dr Leanne Gregory on the Psychology of Violent Extremism was then received followed by Q&A session.
Second Meeting – November 2017
This meeting focused on “Healthy Workplaces” and promoted the launch of Psychology at Work, a significant report from the BPS which brings together evidence from across the discipline to demonstrate how policy makers can better tackle the interconnected challenges on work, health and disability.
Third Meeting - March 2018
Children and Young People's Mental Health has become an increasingly pressing issue, particularly since the government published its Green Paper in December 2017.
During this meeting, we heard from a panel of clinical and educational psychologists about the factors that increase the risk of mental health issues among children and young people, how psychological support can build resilience in an academic setting and the importance of early intervention to prevent a spiral of problems.
The panel was also joined by two teachers with on-the-ground experience of these issues and the hugely beneficial impact of psychological interventions and support.
During the meeting we launched a one-page briefing on children and young people’s mental health and the APPG’s call to action to improve psychological services for children and young people.
Fourth Meeting - May 2018
Internet trolling is an anti-social behaviour prominent in internet culture and is a relatively new, but growing phenomenon. It can have a devastating impact on the mental health and wellbeing of victims. However, the full extent of this kind of behaviour is still poorly understood.
Working with researchers from the University of Bradford and the University of Brunel, the APPG undertook unique research on the impact of online threatening and abusive behaviour on parliamentarians and their staff.
The results of this research were presented to the fourth meeting of the APPG in May 2018, including surprising results on who the main victims of abuse among parliamentarians are.
This was followed by a Q&A session with the researchers and other psychologists on what makes people engage in this behaviour, the characteristics of internet trolls and what the most effective tactics are in dealing with it.
Fifth Meeting - July 2018
The links between the criminal justice system and mental health are poorly understood by policy-makers, yet with timely and effective psychological intervention, reoffending can be reduced, the chances of rehabilitation can be increased and entry into the criminal justice system can be avoided altogether in the right circumstances.
During this meeting, focused on managing youth to adult transitions in the criminal justice system, exploring the notion that young adults should have a distinct, focused and flexible approach at every stage in the criminal justice process if we are to reduce reoffending and improve social outcomes for them and their families.
Our speakers explored prevention and early intervention strategies for children and young people, the power of psychological interventions and the impact of working in the criminal justice system on civilian staff and how psychological approaches can help tackle this.
The meeting also included the APPG’s AGM and the election of officers for 2018-19. We were delighted that the following individuals have been re-elected as officers of the group:
- Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Chair
- Luciana Berger MP, Vice-Chair
- Baroness Hamwee, Vice-Chair
- Lord Alderdice, Officer
- Lord Balfe, Officer
For further information on the APPG Meeting Plan for 2018, please click here.