Suicides Linked To Economic Crisis Spike In Europe; Meanwhile, Here At Home, American Psychological Assocation Offers No Special Training For Psychologists To Treat Problems Related To Money

The APA‘s annual Stress In America survey is noteable for its failure to address the fact that money is the No. 1 stressor cited by Americans.
The analysis presented by APA in this year’s survey is thorough in its treatment of stress across different genders, age groups, gerographic regions, and cities. But APA’s analysis of the survey data buries the fact that the No. 1 cause of stress cited by 75% of Americans is money.
The failure of the APA's annual report to address the prominence of money problems in the lives of Americans is consistent with a pattern of failure by association to devote proper attention to money problems.
Dr. Mary Gresham, an Atlanta psychologist, who has petitioned APA to create a financial division, says psychologists currently receive no specialized training equipping them to help patients suffering from anxiety, depression, and other disorders triggered by financial woes.
That the APA must be petitioned to add training for psychologists on money issues hints at APA’s institutional resistance to creating a new specialization and body of knowledge in psychology that could help Americans better cope with money problems.
Gresham, in an interview, says APA staff and leadership for months fiddled with her requests to post her petition to create the new division on its website. According to Gresham, she had to call APA staffers every week for months before her petition was finally posted to the APA website.
APA has 54 divisions and adding another division would reduce funding available to those already in existence. So staff and leadership at APA have not supported Gresham’s effort, even though it obviously merits attention.
The increased rate of suicide related to financial woes is likely not just a European problem. It is a problem faced by all developed countries suffering from the financial crisis that began in 2007. Money and the stress it causes is a a consequence of modern life.
APA has an opportunity to do something about the problem in America. Please contact psychologists you know and ask them to sign Gresham’s petition to add a financial division to APA. Below is an email you can send to psychologists to ask them to sign her petition.
Dear Psychologist:
Wealth management and psychology seem unrelated. However, the two disciplines are colliding: The No. 1 stressor cited by Americans for the last two years, according to the American Psychological Association’s annual survey, is money. Meanwhile, our society’s charitable class of mega-millionaires families increasingly suffer from drug and alcohol abuse and other dysfunction.
While depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems caused by money are afflicting more people than ever, the American Psychological Association offers no specialized training to equip psychologists to deal with money-related psychological woes. That’s why I am writing you.      
Dr. Mary Gresham, one of your colleagues, has petitioned APA to create a financial division to promote the study of financial psychology and specialized training to clinical practitioners. Please log into APA’s website to sign Dr. Gresham’s petition to create a financial division at APA.
Please also forward this email to your fellow APA members and encourage them to sign Dr. Gresham’s petition as well. It’s just the right thing to do.


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