Psychologists Against Austerity campaign – call for evidence


I was delighted to be invited recently to join and contribute to several ongoing projects with Psychologists against austerity.

Psychologists Against Austerity is a national campaign that highlights the psychological costs of austerity policies. We take the position that the austerity policies are an ideological choice by the Government and not necessary or inevitable economic measures. Psychologists are often in a position to see the effects that social and economic changes have on people and communities.  We draw attention to these human costs, which in the long-term will have additional social and economic repercussions.

It is our public and professional duty to speak out against the further implementation of austerity policies, as these have direct psychological impacts. We draw on academic research as well as our professional and personal experience to identify the damaging psychological costs of austerity measures, and we have produced a briefing paper detailing this research evidence base. We also outline an alternative vision for a society that creates the conditions for people to have ‘freedom to live a valued life’.

We call for social policy that works towards a more equitable and participatory society. We argue for a community-led approach to mental and emotional wellbeing that develops collective responses to individual needs and strengthens communities; one that supports and liberates, rather than punishing people in times of need.

We have identified five key ‘Austerity Ailments’ based on robust and long standing psychological evidence. They are: 

Humiliation and Shame

Fear and Mistrust

Instability and Insecurity

Isolation and Loneliness

Being Trapped and Powerless

You can read the evidence in full in our briefing paper.

Everyday Austerity

We would like to hear your stories about how the cuts have affected you and your service. We want the wider public and politicians to understand the real life costs of public sector cuts. It can be hard to speak up alone, so we are collating everyone’s stories – together we have more power and a louder voice. We all have stories of frustration, fear and anger, so please use this as a way to tell the world about how the cuts have impacted on you and/or the people you work with. We are interested in stories from everyone who works in, uses, or needs Psychology services.

We may use these stories in other contexts, such as publication and media.

Please visit our page to tell us about your experiences here


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