Where do we focus our efforts is often a question that new PSC groups ask. In this series of blogs, we attempt to provide some answers. Here PSC Oxford explain their thinking
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Psychologists for Social Change in Oxford started a little under a year ago. Much of its infancy was spent trying to find its identity, which was shaped by the shared values of branch attendees. With Oxford being in the midst of a homelessness crisis, we naturally wanted to start here as our initial focus. Our journey began by reaching out to local homeless shelters to offer support where we could. Some of our members have been attending events to link in with ongoing projects, such as the development of a women’s homelessness shelter in Oxford.
We decided also to focus on change through dissemination, publishing an article in The Oxford Mail. Our article emphasised the urgency of bolder and braver approaches to homelessness in Oxford, and the benefits of psychologically informed perspectives on the issue. More recently, we reached out to an innovative local charity ‘Greater Change’, which you can learn about here. With Greater Change, we brainstormed potential collaborations, such as investigating the factors which contribute to the stigmatisation of people who are homeless.
As we grow larger and look to the future, we wish to tackle a more diverse set of issues. We have multiple ongoing projects, beyond homelessness, such as working on a review of the influential “Power Threat Meaning” framework. Our recent open-letter about mental health funding in Oxfordshire had a large impact on Twitter and was referenced in speech by local MPs. This has led to an ongoing dialogue between PSC and local MPs to address this issue. We have not left homelessness behind, however, as we move towards a project involving toolkits for supporting homeless persons with Autistic Spectrum Condition.
We invite any local people with a shared interest in psychology to come along and join us. We have so much we want to achieve and appreciate any help we can get.
Oxford PSC Facebook: https://facebook.com/oxpsychsocchange/
Oxford PSC Twitter: https://twitter.com/oxpsycsocchange?lang=en
Oxford PSC email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Colwell on behalf of Oxford Psychologists for Social Change