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Chief Executive

A focus on poverty

31 October 2019 | by Chief Executive

We welcomed representatives from our member networks to Leicester recently for the second BPS Senate, and I was delighted to experience two days of lively discussion about the direction of the Society and what our next campaigning priority should be.

Three fantastic proposals were brought to the table and presented to Senate by members who are passionate about the real change that psychology can achieve and the good that it can do.

The proposals on older people and prevention were both engaging and important, and they would’ve been worthy areas for us to focus our energy for the next year.

Ultimately, however, the campaign around lifting people out of poverty was voted as the winner by our member representatives, and our policy team have already started to plan for the next 12 months.

The title of this campaign, ‘From poverty to flourishing’, shows the impact that psychology can have, not just helping to solve complex problems such as poverty, but also encouraging people to realise their full potential and to flourish.

We will be advertising for members of an expert reference group to take the campaign forward shortly, and I am sure that with the expertise and knowledge of our members we’ll be able to do justice to such an important topic.

Our aim will be to achieve the same success that the first democratically chosen BPS policy campaign, on the mental health of children and young people, has had over the last year.

Thanks to the work of a number of our members, we’ve been able to take the robust psychological evidence in this area to people who make the decisions, whether through our events for MPs in Westminster or briefing papers produced for influential organisations such as Ofsted.

Psychology has vital evidence to bring to the table in countless government priority areas, and the collaborative approach which our Senate encourages is helping to make sure that voice is heard.

This collaborative approach to solving problems is something that I advocate across the board, and we recently joined with eight other organisations to call for the creation of a Chief Psychological Professions Officer to oversee the expansion of the NHS psychological workforce.

I have used this blog to make the case for a CPPO before, and I hope that awareness of this vital new role grows through the joint article by myself and Nick Waggett, Chief Executive of the Association of Child Psychotherapists, recently published in the Health Service Journal.

Collaboration requires the input of as many voices as possible, so I’d be delighted to hear from any of our members with ideas for our campaign on lifting people out of poverty, or thoughts on the future of the psychological workforce.

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