Women’s Interest Group

Society for Health Psychology
Women’s Health Interest Group Proposal

For decades, women’s health issues have been the focus of research funding from the NIH and other groups, education and training across the health professions, clinical programs in academic and community health systems, federal, state and global policy organizations, as well as community service groups and philanthropic foundations in the United States and internationally. The APA Society for Health Psychology (SfHP) initially established the Committee on Women’s Health in the 1980’s to advance women’s health research, provide resources on women’s health to Division and APA members, collaborate with the APA Women’s Programs Office, and to advance the status of women in the Division and APA. SfHP members have continued to actively engage in and serve as thought leaders in women’s health research, clinical services, education and training, and policy. The newly formed SfHP Women’s Health Special Interest Group would allow for a welcoming, collaborative and timely space to address ongoing and pressing women’s health issues in psychology and society.

I am delighted to announce that the Executive Committee of the Society for Health Psychology has authorized the formation of a Women’s Health Interest Group. The primary goals for the Women’s Health Interest Group would be as follows:

  • Define the core competencies required of psychologists who identify as having an expertise in women’s health.
  • Support interprofessional research on psychosocial, behavioral, sociocultural, economic and public policy factors affecting the health of women in all their diversities, their access to and use of health care, health disparities among women as well as gender differences in the application and translation of health psychology assessment, treatment and prevention interventions.
  • Promote evidence-based treatment in clinical practice with women across the life span by psychologists and other health care providers in primary and specialty health settings as well as traditional mental health settings.
  • Collaborate with the APA Center for Psychology and Health, the APA Women’s Program’s Office, the APA Office of International Affairs, and a range of APA Divisions, State, Provincial or Territorial Psychological Associations (SPTAs) and related groups to educate psychologists, colleagues across the health professions and the public on the role of psychology in women’s health.
  • Liaison with national and international women’s health organizations to enhance collaboration across disciplines associated with women’s health research, prevention, treatment, education and training and public policy. Examples include the: NIH Office on Women’s Health Research, DHHS Office on Women’s Health, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Society for Women’s Health Research, North American Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynecology, North American Menopause Society, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Perinatal Mental Health Society, NCI Office of Cancer Survivorship, American Psychosocial Oncology Society, International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Post-Partum International, UN Commission of the Status of Women, among others.
  • Collaborate with the APA Government Relations teams to advocate for public policy affecting women’s health-related research and treatment, access to care and the status of women across the life span in the United States and globally.
  • Promote the status of women in leadership roles in SfHP, APA, and related national and international organizations committed to women’s health.

To finalize the formation of the Women’s Health Interest Group, a minimum of 20 current (2018) SfHP members need to express intent to join. If you are interested in being a part of this new and exciting group, please send your complete name, degrees, affiliations, contact information and email address to: Helen L. Coons, Ph.D., ABPP, at hcoons@comcast.net.