Div. 18 (Psychologists in Public Service) responds to the needs of the public in areas such as psychological practice, research, training and policy formation. The division comprises six sections representing a variety of settings: Community and State Hospital, Criminal Justice, Police and Public Safety, Psychologists in Indian Country, Serious Mental Illness-Severe Emotional Disturbance and Veterans Affairs. The division and its sections provide a forum for its members to discuss common professional interests, to advocate for the mental health needs of the public, and to promote the use of evaluation and research in public research programs. The newsletter Public Service Psychology is sent to members three times a year.
Div. 18 is comprised of psychologists who work in public service settings. Psychologists in public service settings:
- Engage principally in public service through a common responsibility to carry out programs that are publicly legislated and funded and accountable to the public.
- Work directly and/or indirectly with underserved and marginalized communities or specialized populations who may not be best served elsewhere.
- Work for the good of the community in a clinical, consultative, research and/or training capacity, or by serving those who serve the community.
- Advocate on behalf of or alongside underserved and marginalized communities or specialized populations served in publicly funded setting.
Div. 18 is one of the divisions of the American Psychological Association (APA). Its core values and its sections are consistent with the core values of APA:
- Advocate for psychology and psychologists — demonstrate an unwavering commitment to promoting the field while supporting and unifying those that make it their profession.
- Build on a foundation of science — ensure that the best available psychological science informs policies, programs and products.
- Engage with and deliver value to members — provide resources, opportunities and networks that help all members at every stage of their career.
- Champion diversity and inclusion — understand and appreciate differences and be inclusive in everything we do.
- Respect human rights — focus on human rights, fairness and dignity for all segments of society.
- Lead by example — serve others, model integrity and demonstrate the highest ethical standards in all our actions.