The next Scottish Government should review its approach to tackling poverty and Coronavirus recovery, according to a manifesto published by the British Psychological Society (BPS), ahead of the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary Election.
The BPS says greater use of psychological evidence within policy development could improve government approaches and outcomes for people across a range of areas; including domestic violence; Coronavirus rehabilitation; substance misuse; poverty; children’s mental health and literacy; and employability, skills, and productivity.
Its manifesto calls for a new integrated strategy to reduce poverty; specialist psychological services within rehabilitation packages; and more psychologists to be embedded across the public sector.
Jason Bohan, Chair of the Society’s Scottish Branch said: “The manifesto has been developed in collaboration with our expert members in Scotland. Any government committed to improving the lives of people experiencing the impact of poverty, or poor health, must ensure that interventions are based on the evidence and an in-depth understanding of human behaviour.”
The manifesto has been launched as Scotland marks Challenge Poverty Week (5-11 October), which aims to highlight the reality of poverty and showcase solutions to solve it. This year, the Society has funded an extensive member led campaign to consider approaches to tackling systemic poverty across the UK.
On the publication of the manifesto, Sarb Barjwa, Chief Executive at the BPS said: “Our policy asks are backed by psychological evidence, and set out how the next Scottish Government can move towards recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic and to improving the health and wellbeing of the population across the country.”
The BPS says that psychological evidence should be used to identify and understand the barriers to addressing poverty that current structures and systems create, so that governments can lay the foundations to improve mental health, children’s development, and bolster community resilience.
The Society’s Psychological manifesto for the next Scottish Parliament is available here.