APA’s Public Interest Directorate: Spotlight on International Activities

The APA Public Interest Directorate has been working with international partners to increase scientific understanding of the role of psychology in areas dealing with children, violence, stress, sexual orienation, discrimination, war, families and more.

The APA Public Interest Directorate applies psychology to the fundamental problems of human welfare and the promotion of equitable and just treatment of all segments of society through education, training, and public policy. The Directorate has been working with international partners to increase scientific understanding of the role of psychology in preventing violence against children, stress in the workplace, and discrimination based on sexual orientation; understanding the psychosocial effects of war on children and families; and promoting cross-cultural understanding. Highlights of these activities include:

Violence Prevention Office

The ACT/Parents Raising Safe Kids program is operating in Greece under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Greek Psychological Association. The Violence Prevention Office is currently working to develop a MOU with the Catholic University in Lima, Peru to take the parenting program there. For further information contact Julia M. Silva, Violence Prevention Office Public Interest Directorate, (202) 336-5817.

Children, Youth, and Families Office

The report of the APA Task Force on the Psychosocial Effects of War on Children and Families Who Are Refugees from Armed Conflict Residing in the United States is on the agenda of the August Council meeting. For further information, contact Mary Campbell, Children, Youth, and Families Office, (202) 336-6039.

Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs

The August issue of the OEMA Communiqué included a special section on “Indigenous People: Promoting Psychological Healing and Well-Being”. There is a major article on the United Nation’s Indigenous People activities and several articles focused on non-U.S. indigenous people. The special section highlights the commonality of challenges faced by indigenous people, and the role that both psychologists and indigenous healing practices can play in facilitating positive response and adaptation to these challenges. See Communiqué. For further information contact Bertha Holliday or Alberto Figueroa-Garcia, Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs, (202) 336-6029.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Office

APA submitted recommendations to the World Health Organization on three homosexuality-related diagnoses in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). For further information, contact Clinton Anderson, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns Office, (202) 336-6037.

Directorate Executive Office

Executive Director for Public Interest Gwendolyn Puryear Keita, represented APA at the International Coordinating Group for Occupational Health Psychology which was held in conjunction with the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology in Rome, Italy, March 2010. Dr. Keita was one of the three United States representatives to this group.

Clinton Anderson, Associate Executive Director and Director of the LGBT Office, presented at the European Forum on Evidence-Based Prevention, June 16-18, on behalf of the CDC Community Guide’s mental health coordination team. He reported on the Community Guide and its efforts to publish recommendations regarding mental health interventions based on systematic reviews. Dr. Anderson also represented APA and the International Network for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns and Transgender Issues in Psychology at the International Congress of Applied Psychology (Melbourne July 2010). For further information, contact Clinton Anderson, Public Interest Directorate, (202) 336-6037, and see LGBTC International Network and Activities.