Div. 18 offers seven special interest sections in which members can participate.
Members of the division are encouraged to join the special interest section that most reflects their interests.
A chair, who is also a member of the Div. 18 Board of Directors, heads each section.
Community and State Hospitals
Members of this section share common interests in such areas as psychological service deliver, research, program development, outcome evaluation, and systems management, within the context of public mental health settings. They frequently treat persons with serious mental illness and may have interests in telemedicine. Activities of the section include promoting patient advocacy and helping establish parity with medical staff in hospital settings.
Members of this section work primarily with incarcerated people and with administrators who operate state or federal correctional facilities and detention centers. Members of this section provide professional support to one another through an exchange of information concerning the administration, assessment, treatment, and ethical and training issues that are involved in this challenging line of work.
Police and Public Safety
Members of this section work with law enforcement, fire departments, nuclear regulatory agencies, emergency medical services, and other public safety entities. They are involved in the selection of employees, fitness for duty evaluations, critical incident stress debriefing, management of mental health programs, criminal investigative analysis (profiling), and hostage negotiations.
Psychologists in Indian Country
Members of this section share an interest in providing psychological services to Native American/Indigenous people in the United States and Canada. While not exclusive, many professionals in this section work with reservations or reserves, employed by tribes, urban Native American/First Nation programs, or the Indian Health Service. However, anyone who works with and for, or has a passion for advocacy for the wellness of, Indigenous people are welcome to this section. This section raises awareness around Indigenous experiences of health inequity, advocacy for issues and concerns, encourages best practices informed by culturally informed care, and is a communication network among their members who may work in isolated areas geographically or professionally. As the newest section in Div. 18, we welcome all who have an interest in serving Native people.
Serious Mental Illness - Severe Emotional Disturbance (SMI - SED)
Members of this section share a common interest in promoting optimal functioning in adults living with serious psychiatric disorders and children diagnosed with severe emotional disorders. Members work in a variety of settings (e.g., state hospitals, community agencies, private practice, Veterans Health Administration facilities, residential programs and criminal justice systems) and share a commitment to supporting the recovery and resilience of persons experiencing disorders such as schizophrenia and other disorders on the psychotic spectrum, mood disorders and co-occurring Axis II diagnoses. Members are involved in mental health administration, direct clinical care, research, public policy development and patient advocacy.
This section seeks to engage students interested in a career in public service; its members strive to connect, provide resources and create opportunities.
Psychologists working for the Department of Veterans Affairs serve our nations’ veterans in a national network of health care facilities. Section members include psychologists and other stakeholders who promote the Department’s mission through patient care, research, training, and consumer activities, and who from a nation network to share ideas and concerns. The VA section is one of the more active sections in Div. 18 and is the only VA-related group open to all VA psychologists.