APA recognizes week to celebrate psychology

washington — The American Psychological Association has recognized the third week in April as a “Psychology Week,” with the aim of raising the profile of the discipline and profession of psychology and celebrating its many contributions to benefiting society and improving lives.

“As the science of behavior, psychology touches on virtually all aspects of our lives,” said APA President Frank C. Worrell, PhD. “By setting aside one week to spotlight the field of psychology, APA hopes to increase the public’s understanding of, and appreciation for, psychology’s many contributions in such areas as health care, education, research, technology and the workplace.”

The week for recognizing psychology will run from Sunday, April 17, through Saturday, April 23.

APA’s Board of Directors voted unanimously at its meeting March 1 to mark this week, with the possibility of making this an annual event.

“The designation of a ‘Psychology Week’ will provide psychologists with the opportunity to draw attention to the contributions of their profession and discipline, both clinically and scientifically,” Worrell said. “We know from our polling research that the public has a positive opinion of psychology but scant knowledge of its myriad accomplishments. We hope psychologists and teachers of psychology nationwide will use this week to raise the public’s consciousness around the tremendous work of psychologists both historically and currently.”

The third week of April was chosen partly because it already encompasses Psychology Day at the United Nations, an annual opportunity to share with the U.N. community psychology’s role in addressing global concerns. This year’s 15th Psychology Day at the U.N. will be held April 21 from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. EDT with the theme: Building Hope: Psychological Contributions to a Roadmap for Climate Action. Speakers will bring together the science and practice of psychology to discuss the latest research on climate change and present evidence-based strategies to assist the U.N. and other groups to mitigate and adapt more effectively to the challenges emerging from our changing climate. People can register online.

Also the same week, the Veterans Health Administration will celebrate VA Psychology Recognition Week to acknowledge the contributions of psychologists who care for patients at VA Medical Centers. The creation and growth of the Veterans Health Administration after World War II led to a dramatic increase in the need for psychologists to provide care for veterans. The VA trains and employs more psychologists than any entity in the United States.

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