PsySR pursues its activism, advocacy, and education initiatives through projects in six inter-related Programs, each described below:
PsySR is an independent, non-profit organization that PsySR pursues its activism, advocacy, and education initiatives through projects in six inter-related Programs, each described below.
Our members are psychologists, students, and other advocates for social change in the United States and around the world.
Human rights violations – including mass killing, torture, ethnic- and gender-based violence, and the suppression of freedom of expression – occur worldwide. PsySR’s Program on Human Rights and Psychology challenges the psychological processes that initiate, maintain, and legitimize these transgressions. We work to change the institutional policies and practices that perpetuate state-sponsored abuses. As part of this effort, we aim to hold the health and mental health professions accountable to international human rights standards and to our joint ethical commitment to “do no harm.”
Violence and its destructive impact on individuals, relationships, communities, and nations are all too familiar. From the suffering caused by intimate partner violence to the devastating effects of today’s wars in which civilians make up the vast majority of casualties, the urgent need for alternative strategies for addressing conflict is clear. PsySR’s Program on Violence, War, and Their Alternatives works to advocate and educate for nonviolent approaches to conflict prevention and reduction, including the empowerment of potential victims, the use of diplomacy, and the promotion of greater tolerance for personal and cultural differences.
In the wake of group violence, the challenges of individual and social healing, reconciliation, and building sustainable communities are complex and urgent. Without such processes, cycles of revenge, despair, and rage persist – leaving the door open for the profiteers of chaos, fear, and violence. PsySR’s Program on Peacebuilding and Reconciliation works to create and support dialogues and shared projects that deepen awareness of these realities and implement best practices for supporting community healing efforts.
The health of a society is inextricably linked to the well-being of its members. Obstacles to the pursuit of meaningful and productive lives often include institutional barriers to equal rights, opportunities, and access to resources. PsySR’s Program on Social Health, Justice, and Well-Being works to apply psychological principles in order to highlight and challenge the sources of poverty, prejudice, discrimination, and inequality that adversely affect individuals in family, school, work, and community settings.
Human-caused climate change and environmental degradation have the potential to harm the mental health and well-being of billions of people. As a result of our over-consumption, inattention, and denial, urgent concerted action is needed to deter realities of growing anxiety, depression, and conflict around the world. PsySR’s Program on Climate Change, Sustainability, and Psychology recognizes that psychologists and other mental health professionals can play vital roles in preventing and reducing the adverse psychological consequences of these forces and in working to educate and empower individuals, communities, organizations, and governments to adopt new behaviors for a more sustainable future.
With war, injustice, and human rights violations seemingly a tragic fixture of the new century, PsySR’s Program on Education for Social Responsibility aims to bring psychological knowledge, expertise, and social change strategies to students, educators, policymakers, mental health professionals, and the general public. Our educational initiatives include training programs, classroom materials, online resources, and research reports that highlight key links between psychology, social problems, and effective policies for social change