Dear Div. 18 members,
Wow, it has been an unprecedented few months as we have all struggled to deal with the historic pandemic that has been unleashed upon us. It has been such an important time for public service psychologists, and many of our members have been involved in unique, outstanding ways to serve those in need. Thanks to the countless providers and people involved in handling the pandemic. I also thank our division executive committee and our members in weathering the storm with us.
The APA convention is going to be completely virtual this year, and this is the first time this has happened, so a lot of planning is happening. Let’s try to make the best of it! We were very selective with our sessions this year because APA had reduced programming hours, and I think we will have a great series of sessions and presenters. Special thanks to our Program Chair Monica Roy for all her hard work.
My presidential theme this year, “Expanding public service psychology through technology and collaboration,” is particularly relevant during these times. Many of us are trying to develop new ways to work virtually through technology, and working united to develop new collaborations and help one another. During my presidency, I have focused on two major projects with this theme in mind.
One is a Division 18-led APA interdivisional webinar series (partnering with the Coalition for Technology in Behavioral Science, and Divs. 19, 29, 31, 32, 37, 42, 46, 53, and 56) focused on technology. We held our third webinar in late June on “Troubleshooting ‘Zoom Fatigue’ in the Era of Telehealth.” Our past interdivisional webinars on phone apps are archived in “Using apps in clinical practice: Competency considerations” and “Using apps in clinical practice: Practical aspects,” which had over 2,000 participants.
The second is a CODAPAR grant-funded interdivisional special journal series. This interdivisional effort is led by Div. 18 in partnership with Divs. 19, 38, and 56, and we are developing a joint series of special issues on resilience and strength-building. The project was conceived before the pandemic, but the topic is ever more important now. I want to recognize Lisa Kearney and Pat DeLeon for their support in this effort, as well as the editors from the other participating journals. We participated in a joint call for papers. We hope to develop a podcast series with some authors afterwards as part of this project.
Of course, besides these projects, there is so much that our sections are doing in their work with community and state hospitals, Indian country, criminal justice, policy and public safety, veterans affairs, serious mental illness, and student issues. Please do read about their ongoing activities on our division website, on their listserv, on their social media pages, and during the convention.
Thanks for reading and for your continued support of our division. Hope to see all of you virtually at convention.
President, Div. 18