“Like all science, Psychology is knowledge; and like science again, it is knowledge of a definite thing, the mind.” – James Mark Baldwin
The links between politics, socioeconomics and general well-being have long been discussed. In 1967, for example, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to the American Psychological Association (APA) about the relationship between racism, unemployment, living conditions and collective mental health.
“There are some things in our society, some things in our world, to which we…must always be maladjusted if we are to be people of good will,” the iconic figure said.
“…We must never adjust ourselves to economic conditions that take necessities from the many and give luxuries to the few,” he adds. “We must never adjust ourselves to the madness of militarism, and the self-defeating effects of physical violence…There comes a time when one must make a stand that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular. But one must take it because it is right…”
Now in 2017, while our youth have been blessed with access to unparalleled opportunities made possible through the provision of outstanding education, technologies and Internet resources, the state of their mental health has arguably hit an all-time low, with some describing the crisis as “an epidemic of young people at odds with the world around them”.
With the lingering waves of austerity continuing to ravage regional economies, the popularity of the right feeding global hostilities, and political confusion – much like that we’ve seen in the wake of the UK’s Brexit fallout and the newly-formed Trump administration – igniting an overwhelming sense of unease, it’s too easy to underestimate the effects these events can have on our psychological well-being.
But while many aspects of the contemporary society are rife with instability, one thing we can rely on as a global and connected population is the power of qualified Psychology professionals, not only in helping us comprehend, but also in helping us conciliate a volatile and confusing world.
“Psychologists, whose professional role is the promotion of wellbeing and the prevention of distress, have a duty to speak out about those social, economic and political circumstances that impact on our clients and the general public, and bring such evidence to politicians and policy makers,” The Psychologist explains.
“Psychologists study why people behave as they do. We are therefore uniquely placed to help understand and address some of the most pressing problems facing humankind,” it adds. “Our expertise brings with it an ethical duty to…speak out about those issues that demand a voice. We should be clear that human beings are products of our society,” the article explains. “We should explore and explain, using our distinctive science, the mechanisms by which the events and circumstances of people’s lives can lead to psychological problems. And we should offer solutions.”
If you think you’d like to contribute to unearthing this solution, here are 5 universities that will help you do just that…
Recognised as one of the most progressive and respected psychology-focused schools in the nation, Deakin University’s School of Psychology offers professionally accredited courses and career prospects that truly are unparalleled.
Maintaining the highest possible level of student satisfaction among all Victorian universities for the last six consecutive years, the institution is an education hotspot for talented students and researchers from all regions and walks of life. With research-informed programmes that cover everything from general Psychological Science to specific work-focused Psychology with Professional Streams and everything in between, Deakin is helping students explore the human mind, behaviour and emotions, driving them towards making a real difference in the world.
There’s a varied range of employment options open to graduates of the School, with past students having an impact in mental and general health contexts, as well as within the criminal justice system, business and industry, education, media, marketing, sports, and research. With the transferrable skills learned through Deakin’s first-rate education, a psychology-based degree from this leading institution will undoubtedly see you through a long and successful career in a diverse span of fields.
First established in 1964, the School of Psychology and Speech Pathology is dedicated to the provision of cutting-edge teaching and research within these fascinating disciplines.
Named within the world’s top 250 universities in the world for psychology-based studies in the QS World University rankings 2017, the school delivers world-class teaching in the friendly, approachable manner that has for so long characterised Curtin, with courses including Psychology, Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations, and beyond.
Curtin boasts a wealth of extraordinary facilities, like the Psychology Experiential Learning Laboratories (PERL-C) that enables them to pursue additional research activities; the Neurosciences Research Laboratory that focuses on complex cognitive rehabilitation; the fully-stocked Test Library that contains every kind of assessment material; and the Student Computer Laboratory, giving students access to the tools needed to ensure a transformative learning experience.
Known to be one of the leading psychology schools in Australia, Flinders is highly active in terms of teaching and research within psychology-based disciplines.
Offering a supportive, creative and innovative study atmosphere for students from all over the world, the university has earned the highest number of first preferences for its undergraduate psychology degrees in all of South Australia.
Interests and expertise of the school’s leading-edge faculty include:
- Applied Cognitive Psychology
- Clinical/Health Psychology
- Development across the Lifespan
- Social Psychology
These experienced staff members are also researchers of international prowess in areas like autism, body image, brain and cognition, decision making, eating disorders, forensic psychology, human ageing, sleep disorders, social justice and trauma reactions.
The School of Psychology and Counselling at USQ is committed to honing accredited psychology and human services professionals. With an intense focus on teaching, research and engagement of the highest possible level, the school ensures graduates are instilled with the most up-to-date knowledge and transferrable expertise needed to make waves in the world.
“We offer professionally accredited programs in psychology (undergraduate, honours, postgraduate) and human services/counselling (undergraduate) as well as drug and alcohol studies (postgraduate),” the institution notes. “The School of Psychology and Counselling is a leader in incorporating work-integrated learning and applied research in its undergraduate and post graduate programs through collaboration with a wide range of employers and community organisations.”
Carving a reputation of excellence that spans no less than 40-years, USQ is proud to present a low cost and accessible route to professional development, reflecting its dedication to serving those in regional and remote study destinations.
Standing as the top university in New Zealand in terms of research quality and output, Victoria University of Wellington is a pioneer in ground-breaking findings in the field of psychology.
Covering areas like Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience, Cross-Cultural Psychology, Forensic Psychology, and everything in between, the institution represents the perfect launch pad to a long and successful career in this critical profession.
“Our degrees have been restructured recently to be more flexible, meaning that you can complete a major in psychology along with a major in law, science, commerce, humanities or design in only three years,” the institution notes.
“Most of our undergraduate courses are team-taught, and students are introduced to different topics by academic staff members who are leaders their field. Our researchers are passionate about their work and bring the latest developments to the lecture theatre,” the faculty concludes.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International