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Psychologists Offer Free Tips To Help Our Communities Flourish

Improving sleep, using phone apps to manage health conditions, and navigating our complex health system – these are some of the many free lunchtime webinar topics being offered in Psychology Week May 10-16. “From the comfort of their home or office, people can get tips on using psychological tools to enhance wellbeing and manage health conditions,” says Debbie Bean, chair of the Institute of Health Psychology.

Psychology Week is run by the New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) to showcase the practical ways psychology can be used in everyday life. These events are designed to be easily understood and help people from all walks of life.

Free Psychology Week events are being held throughout the country, as well as online. The Institute of Health Psychology is hosting a lunchtime webinar series with daily zoom-based webinars run by psychologists, on topics such as improving sleep, using mobile phone (m-health) tools to manage health conditions, understanding and navigating the health system, maintaining intimate relationships in times of health challenge, and managing medication to optimize health. More information is available at https://www.psychology.org.nz/public/psychology-week.

“We are looking forward to connecting with more of our community and invite everyone to join us to learn new skills to help themselves and their community flourish. This lunchtime webinar series should be helpful for anyone living with a health condition,” says Bean.

One webinar, “Sleep Well, Feel Better” will explain how to optimize sleep routines and give tips on thinking better to facilitate sleep.

Another webinar “There’s no such thing as a drug-free holiday” talks about how to manage medication to optimize health. “Most people with health conditions are asked to follow a complicated regime of medicines to take, and research shows that most struggle to do so, with nearly 50% not even filling prescriptions in a recent Auckland study,” says Bean. “This webinar will include strategies to ensure people don’t forget their medication.

In addition to this webinar series on living well with a health condition, there are a range of events focused around the Psychology Week theme, “Peoples using psychology to flourish”, which highlights the different ways individuals and communities can make use of psychological tools to enhance and improve their lives.

As society attempts to address the big issues like the impacts of COVID-19, racism, discrimination, climate change and poverty, and individuals grapple with the effects of these and other issues in their own lives, psychology is a field with a lot to offer in understanding and working with human thought processes and behaviour to create solutions.

NZPsS President, Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki, says “Many people associate psychology with the mental health field, and while that is an important part of our mahi, our members also operate in many other fields. Psychology also assists in education, business strategy, sports coaching, health, neurodiversity, criminal justice, social and cultural justice, and addressing climate change – among many other areas.”

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