The psychological implications of continued maternity restrictions on parents and infants has been addressed by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) Special Interest Group in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (SIGPIMH). Restrictions and accommodations to ensure the safety of patients across the health service have been a constant aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland. However, the ongoing maternity restrictions, in particular the exclusion of partners and support persons from maternity service, have been highlighted as a cause of increasing distress among pregnant women, fathers, partners, and families. While restrictions have been eased across some hospitals, they continue to remain across many hospitals in Ireland.
The PSI SIGPIMH has provided some insight into the psychological implications of continued restrictions on families, in particular the risks of such practices and implications for young families’ mental health.
To read the full press release, please click here.
Earlier this year the PSI nominated two members, Dr Sharon Lambert and Mr Paul Murphy, to be considered for seats on the Department of Justice Parole Board. Dr Lambert and Mr Murphy were confimred as members of the new Parole Board on 11 August when Minister for Justice Ms Heather Humphreys, T.D., offically annouced the establishment of the Parole Board.
To read the annoucement press release in full, please click here.
PSI recently contacted Minister Anne Rabbitte directly on behalf of a number of our members in relation to very serious professional concerns regarding the governance and operationalisation of psychology in a HSE area outside of psychology governance structures.
PSI highlighted to the Minister that it was our view that it was utterly unacceptable that highly qualified and experienced psychologists and other HSCP colleagues were directed to report for administrative duties such as scanning reports when there is such outstanding clinical assessment and intervention needs among these vulnerable children. This is completely contrary to all public assurances by the HSE, including the Oireachtas Committee, that the focus is now on providing timely intervention.
This was further compounded by a direction to psychologists that they must complete mandatory training to be redeployed as assessment officers where they were expected to sign off on reports of other psychologists and HSCPs. PSI expressed to the Minister our concerns in relation to the negative impact such practices were having on the wellbeing of our members and how the concerns and voices of our members must be heard if we are to be successful in recruiting and retaining our psychological workforce.
PSI also gained the support of the Health & Social Care Professionals Alliance (HSPCA) in also writing to the Minister to highlight the HSCP communities’ concerns about these practices.
Minister Rabbitte’s office replied to the concerns expressed above and confirmed that the matter was receiving attention and assured us that a further reply will be issued as soon as possible.
To read the letter to the Minister in full, please click here.
The Psychological Society of Ireland is delighted to announce that the PSI Member Awards are back and will take place at the PSI Annual Conference 2021 in November! They are designed to recognise excellence in research, practice, and education in psychology by members.
Following engagement by the PSI with Vhi, we are delighted to announce that Vhi has agreed to extend their psychology benefits to include a broader range of psychologists.
Previously Vhi provided benefit on their health insurance policies for clinical psychology only, but has now extended those benefits for PSI Chartered psychologists who are full members of the Divisions of Clinical, Counselling, Educational and Psychotherapy. This change came into effect on the 01 July 2021.
The Annual Report of the Psychological Society of Ireland for 2020 is now available to view on the member Dashboard here. Remember to log in before accessing the 'PSI AGM' section.
Due to current government guidelines, and uncertainty around COVID-19, the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) has made the decision to change this year's physical Annual Conference to a virtual offering. Registration will open in August and we will keep you updated on this via the website, our social media channels, and by email.
The Conference will take place online on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 November.
Registration is now open for the PSI Annual General Meeting 2021. To reserve a place for this virtual event, and to find out more about the AGM agenda, please visit our events section here. Remember to log into the member area dashboard before registering.
The PSI is delighted to announce that we are looking to hire a Research Officer on a permanent basis. To find out more about this exciting role, and to apply, please visit our jobs section here.
You can now view all the relevant information on this year's PSI Annual General Meeting (AGM) here. Remember to log into the PSI member dashboard first to view the page.
A reminder that due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year's AGM will again take place online on Saturday, 28 August 2021.
The deadline for submitting abstracts for the PSI Annual Conference 2021 has officially passed and the review process will now begin. We would like to thank all those that submitted abstracts. See here for more details on this year's PSI Annual Conference.
The PSI is aware of the concerns expressed by members in relation to how the process in which the new Basic Grade Psychology panel has been advertised by the HSE National Recruitment Service (NRS). President-Elect Vincent McDarby has sent a letter to the NRS outlining the concerns of PSI members, and also to formally request that they extend the deadline for receipt of applications in light of the recent ransomware attack on the HSE.
To read the letter in full please click here.
We are aware of the difficulties that have arisen from the recent cyber-attack on the HSE and the impact that this is having on HSE services. This issue has also effected HSE email addresses and many of them may be unreachable at this time.
As we are in regular contact with members of the PSI, we suggest that PSI members who have registered with the Society using a HSE email address update their email addresses so that they can continue to receive communications from us.
To rectify this, we suggest that PSI members using a HSE email address log into the member dashboard and update their email contact details there. The dashboard can be accessed here.
We urge members to consider this if they wish to continue receiving communications from the PSI. This is particularly important for members who wish to participate in upcoming events, or wish to be kept informed on calls for nominations, the fortnightly ezine, The Irish Psychologist flipbook, and more.
If you have any questions please contact email@example.com.
The HSE National Covid Vaccination Operations Team has sent a memo announcing that Covid-19 vaccines are available to all newly appointed Frontline Health Care Workers (FLHCWs), or those FLHCWs who have returned to the workplace and were not previously registered for Covid-19 vaccination via the Healthcare Worker Portal.
To read the memo in full, and to see the list of email addresses which covers the area for your home address, please click here.
In a joint press release issued on Tuesday 20 April 2021, the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) called for the disparity in funding for psychology trainees in Ireland to be addressed by government to ensure the country has the psychological workforce it needs.
Currently trainee clinical psychologists have 60% of their fees paid and receive a student salary starting at €33,000, while counselling and educational/child trainee psychologists pay fees of between €12,000 and €15,000 per year and do a minimum of 300 hours unpaid work throughout the duration of their study.
PSI Past President, Mark Smyth said: “There is no justifiable reason why trainee counselling or educational psychologists should not also be paid during training while they support the mental health and emotional and educational needs of the most vulnerable.
“There is no integrity in a system that has a 100 per cent plus pay differential between colleagues providing a similar service. An immediate plan is needed from Government detailing when, and how, they will bring this inequity to an end.”
You can read the press release in full by clicking here.
Following the Department of Health's invitation to members of the public and key stakeholders to put forward submissions on the review of the Mental Health Act, the Psychological Society of Ireland made a formal submission to the review. The Society's submission is detailed under the below headings/themes:
You can read the PSI's submission in full by clicking here.
Vicky Phelan, Prof. Luke O’Neill, Damien Dempsey and Adam Harris each join a psychologist to discuss specific areas over the four-part series
Following last year’s successful podcast series, the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) is delighted to launch their 2021 offering. The new series sees a PSI Chartered Psychologist joined by a different expert from various socio/scientific disciplines in each episode of the four-part series. Aimed at a public audience, the podcast series aims to educate and raise public awareness of psychology and the areas discussed in each episode.
The four-part Psychological Society of Ireland podcast series launches on Friday 26 March with a new episode being released each Friday over a four-week period.
Shane Kelly, CEO of the PSI says: “The PSI podcast series gives an exciting and engaging insight into many areas of interest. The four episodes present expert psychologists in conversation with leading high-profile experts, be they from scientific or lived-experience fields, exploring the human condition.”
Listen now on the PSI Podcasts page or on any main audio platforms such as iTune, spotify, etc.
To read the full press release please click here.
In February, the PSI launched a competition for PSI members to win the chance of having their artwork used as the front cover of an IP magazine. Having received some wonderful entries, we are delighted to announce that the winner's work will grace the cover of the April 2021 issue of the IP! A special feature in the April IP will showcase the winning entry and also those that were highly commended.
Thank you to our members that submitted an entry. And to all of the IP readers, we hope you enjoy the April issue!
As part of the HSE response to COVID-19 in March 2020, the HSE National Library Service convened a National Library Evidence team to respond to COVID-19 research requests. The Library is now seeking expressions of interests from healthcare professionals.
For more information on the Panel of Health Care Professionals for the HSE National Library COVID-19 Evidence Team, please see here.
Only PSI Chartered Members can apply. The link to the form for submitting expressions of interest can be found here.
Registration for the COVID-19 vaccination is now available to frontline healthcare workers via an online portal that can be found on the Health Service Executive (HSE) website here.
All frontline healthcare workers (working in a HSE or HSE-funded organisation, a private hospital or clinic or within a community based not-for-profit or private healthcare provider not directly funded by the HSE) are eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.
A guide with details on how to register for the vaccine has been provided by the HSE.
To view information on registering online for the vaccine and contact details provided by the HSE, please click here.
To view the 'Quick Guide and Tips for registering on the Frontline Healthcare Worker Portal' document, please click here.
The Minister for Health is inviting applications from suitably qualified and experienced candidates for appointments to professional vacancies on seven CORU registration boards.
Candidates who are registered Occupational Therapists, Dietitians, Medical Scientists, Radiographers, Radiation Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, or are members of professions due to be registered by CORU (Psychologists and Social Care Workers), are invited to apply under one or more of the following three categories:
Please note that the application process for professional appointments to CORU registration boards is being managed by Public Appointments Service, not the PSI.
The closing date for submissions of expressions of interest is 15:00 on Monday 15 March 2021. **Please note, the closing date has been extended to 15:00 on Monday 22 March 2021.**
Further information and details on the application process can be accessed by clicking here.
The PSI is calling for expressions of interest to sit on the steering committee for Paediatric Diabetes in Ireland. The National Office of Clinical Audit (NOCA) are in the process of establishing a steering committee to oversee an initial feasibility study for a National Audit of Paediatric Diabetes in Ireland. The purpose of this study is to determine the scope and parameters for inclusion in a national audit of paediatric diabetes.
The deadline to submit the expression of interest form for consideredation by the PSI is Thursday 4 March. The form can be filled out here. Once completed please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In January 2020, the Health Service Executive (HSE) implemented a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Assessment of Need (AON) across the country. The Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), the Irish Association of Speech & Language Therapists (IASLT), and the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland (AOTI) have expressed significant concerns regarding the procedure since its initial proposal in 2018.
It is with a great sense of regret, and worry, from each of the representative bodies that the HSE has, despite concerns previously articulated by the three organisations, implemented this new procedure.
The new AON Preliminary Team Assessment (PTA) has replaced a comprehensive professional assessment process with a uniform brief screening session and seeks to redesignate comprehensive assessments as ‘health needs’. Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, and Occupational Therapists are already seeing the entirely predictable result, where the PTA screening of a child’s needs indicates that the child requires a comprehensive assessment. This results in the child being referred onto another waiting list for further assessment. This further assessment does not fall under the Disability Act so there are no statutory obligations for these assessments to be completed in a timely manner.
A survey of members of the three representative bodies found that the overwhelming majority of responds report that:
The AOTI report is available here.
The IASLT report is available here.
The National Clinical Programme for People with Disability (NCPPD) is establishing seven HSCP Advisory Subcommittees of the Disability Advisory Group (DAG) to the NCPPD. The NCPPD is calling for expressions of interest from members to sit on the sub-committess. For more information on the requirements for the role and to learn more about the purpose of the groups please click here.
The deadline to submit the expression of interest so that it can be considered by the PSI is Monday 15 February. You can fill out the expression of interest form here. Once completed please send it to email@example.com.
*Please be aware that the deadline for this has expired
Registration for the COVID-19 vaccine is now available to frontline healthcare workers via the Health Service Executive (HSE) website here. The HSE also provides a step by step guide on how to register so please read the instructions provided on the registration page to learn more.
Please click here to view the updated version of the 'Guidelines for Sequencing and Registration for Frontline Healthcare Workers' document recently published by the HSE.
If you are a PSI member and consider yourself artistically creative, then the latest offering from the PSI and The Irish Psychologist magazine team might be of interest to you! The PSI has launched a competition for Society members to be in with the chance of having their artwork grace the cover of the IP magazine during 2021. Members are invited to submit images (artwork, photography, other visual media) that capture aspects of psychology, psychological constructs, or indeed the Society. There is no time restriction as to when the piece of work was created, so even if you did a painting 20 years ago you can still submit it as an entry, as long as it is in-line with the technical specifications for the competition. Winning and commended submissions will be featured in The IP in the second half of 2021. The closing date for entries is 5PM on Monday 08 March 2021.
Please click here for further information on the competition, including Technical Specifications and Ts&Cs.
On Monday 08 February 2021, the PSI will launch a competition for PSI members to be in with the chance of having their artwork grace the cover of the IP magazine! Members are invited to submit images (artwork, photography, other visual media) which will be considered by judges. The deadline for entries will be 5pm Monday 08 March. Additional information will be available on this page from Monday 08 February.
Are you a psychology student wondering what to do when you complete your undergraduate studies? Then make sure not to miss this year's All Ireland Psychology Careers Event, which will take place online on Saturday 13 March from 9AM - 3PM. The Careers Event, which is being run by the PSI and kindly supported by the NIBPS and the UCD School of Psychology, offers students an insight into various psychology careers.
In January 2021, the National Clinical Programme for People with Disability (NCPPD) sent a letter to the Health and Social Care Professions. The letter addressed a number of issues, such as: the setting up of the new NCPPD; the Programme architecture; new investment in HSCP positions; and, the Standard Operating Procedure.
To view the letter please click here.
I hope you are well. I am writing to you to assure you that the PSI is advocating for swift access to COVID-19 vaccines for all practising members, both private and public.
The PSI is in direct contact with the Health Service Executive (HSE) Chair of the group that is organising the COVID-19 vaccination distribution programme for the COVID-19 National Immunisation Taskforce, and we are assisting the HSE with numerical data on private practitioner / independent practitioner psychologists, across the country on a county-by-county basis.
The HSE is formulating a plan for distribution of vaccines for all psychologists at present.
They do not have specifics just yet but as soon as they do, we will contact all members with an update and assist the HSE in every way we can to facilitate speedy distribution.
The HSE has also published an Updated Sequencing of COVID-19 Vaccination of Frontline Healthcare Workers document, to view it please click here.
PSI Chief Executive Officer
On 01 January 2021, Dr Megan Gaffney became the Society's 51st President. Megan, a Chartered Member of the PSI, is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist and runs a private practice. She also lectures in Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University. Megan has served on Council for a number of years, previously holding the Membership Secretary position, and has been actively involved in the Division of Counselling Psychology and the Society's Communications and Events Committee, as well as various other groups within the Society. Please click here to see Megan's interview in the Decmber 2020 issue of The Irish Psychologist magazine and click here to view the video of Megan's president's address for 2021.
"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things & no good thing ever dies"
The December issue of The Irish Psychologist (IP) magazine saw PSI President Mark Smyth pen his last column as PSI President, entitled ‘This is the Way’. In this column, Mark addresses his time as PSI President, the difficult and challenging year that 2020 has been, and an acknowledgement of the time, energy and expertise that members have put into the collective fight against COVID-19 this year.
Read the column in full here.
On Tuesday 08 December 2020, Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) President Mr Mark Smyth, on behalf of the PSI, the Association of Occupational Therapists in Ireland (AOTI) and the Irish Association of Speech & Language Therapists (IASLT), addressed the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration for engagement with stakeholders on the Ombudsman for Children Report, entitled 'Unmet Needs'. The statement presented outlines how the new Health Service Executive (HSE) Assessment of Need (AON) Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will not meet the needs of children. Mr Odhrán Allen of AOTI was also virtually present.
The Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) recently commissioned Behaviour & Attitudes (B&A) to carry out research amongst just over 1,250 Health and Social Care Professionals (HSCPs). This piece of research was embarked on to understand attitudes towards the current panel system of recruitment within the Health Service Executive (HSE). From the responses of the HSCPs that took part in the survey, the following key findings are highlighted:
To see the survey results in full click here.
In relation to several advertisements regarding the recruitment of psychologists, the PSI sent a letter to organisations that recruit psychologists, and their respective HR managers, noting that advertisements specifying recruitment of psychologists on the basis of a named title (e.g. Clinical Psychologist) is not recommended.
The PSI recommend a competency-based recruitment approach.
To see the letter in full click here.