Hopefully you have recently read the WSPA newsletter article describing the legislative advocacy efforts during APA’s Practice Leadership Conference. It may have piqued your interest in organized psychology’s legislative advocacy activities. WSPA is looking for 3 or 4 WSPA members or APA members, interested in a federal advocacy activity to participate in an event next month.
Please join us as we “Stand for Science” on May 16-17. Given the change of leadership in the White House and Congress, there are new opportunities to advance psychological science. Help advocate for organized psychology’s scientific priorities to advance legislation that:
Increases funding for research, including specific behavioral science initiatives at the National Institutes of Health;
Provides COVID-related relief to universities and labs; and
Creates early-career fellowships at the National Science Foundation.
The Summit, conducted via Zoom, will feature advocacy preparation sessions, culminating in virtual meetings with your congressional offices on Capitol Hill on Monday, May 17. You will spend Sunday, May 16 meeting WSPA’s Advocacy team, APA lobbyists, and your fellow advocates, learning new advocacy skills, and preparing for your congressional meetings. Upon your selection, all congressional meetings for May 17 will be scheduled, so you must be available for up to four meetings throughout the day. If you volunteer you will work as part of a supportive group with the WSPA Advocacy team and alongside seasoned advocates. We hope to assemble an advocacy team with diverse perspectives and experiences in psychology.
If visiting a legislator’s office is new for you – this naturally may evoke some anxiety. With training and support, most end this type of experienced with excitement and a sense of accomplishment. Joining WSPA’s Legislative Advocacy Committee may also be a way to get more familiar and trained in legislative advocacy.
Participate in all sessions from 8AM - 2:30PM on Sunday, May 16
Participate in at least 4 hill visits on Monday May 17 (times TBD) plus a short debriefing session
The WSPA Board of Trustees and Good Trouble Committee are collaborating on an upcoming effort you will hear about again soon: member profile updates. We will be asking that you, the membership of our organization, update your WSPA profile (both internal demographic data and external data about your practice) for two important reasons:
WSPA’s mission is to represent psychologists in Washington, which we can do best when we know more about whom we represent! This is especially true for psychologists whose diverse and intersecting identities can result in marginalizing experiences. We recognize that for such psychologists, there may be significant barriers to entry into the profession at large, membership in our organization, and full participation as a member of the organization. We plan to use the internal demographic profile data collected to further our work regarding organizational, professional, and societal justice.
Connecting community members in need to psychological services is also central to the mission of both WSPA as a whole, and the mission of our Good Trouble Committee. We are aware that our “Find a Psychologist” website search has long been frustrating for potential patients, given the limited practice information available. We hope to use the external practice profile data to best help Washingtonians in need to connect with psychologists who provide excellent services in our state. This is especially true for people seeking psychological services whose diverse and intersecting identities can result in marginalizing experiences, for whom finding psychologists they can trust to competently address issues they face, including systemic ones, is often a barrier to receiving care.
Updating your member demographic and practice profile is of course optional, although we hope we will collectively take this opportunity to get back to our graduate school roots and generate some usable data in service of a more psychologically healthy Washington. We additionally hope that the "Find a Psychologist" function becomes a useful way for our psychology community to receive client referrals, and may provide option to replace or augment your current paid therapy listings.
Thank you for your consideration, WSPA Board of Trustees & Good Trouble Committee