Public Education

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APA-sponsored Public Education Efforts
The Iowa Psychological Association (IPA) is the Iowa affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA). In addition to the Public Education Campaign discussed here, APA also offers public education resources through the APA Help Center.

The APA first established a Public Education Campaign in the mid-1990s. APA conducted a series of focus groups and a nationwide poll to discover how the public perceived psychology and to find out what they understood about mental health issues. APA discovered that there was a gap between what the public understood about psychology and the realities of the everyday practice of psychology.
The first public education campaign was Talk to Someone Who Can Help. In the wake of the shootings at Columbine, APA teamed with MTV to produce Warning Signs, a video and discussion materials about reducing teen suicide and homicide.

In response to 911, APA teamed with the Discovery Channel to produce The Road to Resilience, a video and supporting materials about coping with trauma and loss. In response to the Iraq war and recent natural disasters, APA has expanded that campaign. The most recent effort is theMind/Body Campaign, which emphasizes the impact of stress on physical health. Subcategories of emphasis are stress and heart disease, stress and obesity, and stress and work.

APA/YMCA Partnership

The APA Practice Directorate and YMCA national staff have come together to present families with their common message promoting healthy eating and physical activity. Workshop materials have been created for psychologists to present in conjunction with their local YMCAs with the goal of providing parents and children with tools to help fight the obesity epidemic in America.

In addition to offering the workshop on healthy living, psychologists - many of whom have long sought community venues for psychology-themed presentations - are encouraged to connect with their community YMCAs to offer presentations from APA's Mind/Body Health campaign, says Luana Bossolo, assistant executive director for public relations for APA's Practice Directorate.

The collaboration also connects with the goals of APA's ongoing Mind/Body Health campaign. The campaign's mission is to educate the public about the health effects of stress, the connections between psychological and physical health, and the role of psychologists as among the best-trained health practitioners to help people adopt healthier behaviors.
Former IPA PEC Chair Don Damsteegt, PhD, has presented APA PEC stress and obesity materials to parents and teens at the Cedar Rapids YMCA as part of the “Trim Kids” program, a joint venture of the YMCA and Mercy Hospital.

If you are interested in presenting the program at your local YMCA please contact Amanda Johnson.


Want to know about Psychological Assessment? 

See this video by Derek Grimmell, Ph.D.



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