#MsInterPReted - Coronavirus's Impact on Mental Wellness

4.13.20 S2_Epi11_AliciaAebersold_light text

Aside from the rush to discover a vaccine and a cure for COVID-19 – as well as to forge an economic recovery from the sudden stall of the global economy – one of the most pervasive topics in society today hinges on mental wellness and emotional well-being.

People from all walks of life, professions and vocations have had their lives upended – all in a matter of days, mostly beginning in March 2020, for those based in the U.S.

Persistent and profound uncertainties add an additional layer of stresses on the global population. And for those working in an already high-stress field as public relations, the urgency to find a “release-valve” for emotional tension presents a daily struggle.

Alicia Aebersold – chief communications officer of the Washington-D.C.-based, 121,000-member American Psychology Association – joins Kelly and Mary Beth to discuss.

Alicia Aebersold, CCO of the American Psychological Association (APA) discusses with Kelly and Mary Beth:

  • Her early communications / public relations career path that led her to the position she now holds, in leading the communications function for the world’s largest professional association of psychology
  • Why the relationship a CCO has with one’s CEO and executive team is so important, particularly in times of crisis
  • How the APA’s clear, simple purpose “to benefit society and improve lives” provides the driving force behind the organization’s work plan in service to its members and to the public as well, whether in times of relative normalcy or in times of global crisis
  • How “communication” plays a major role in the overall mission of the organization:
    • APA’s mission statement: “Our mission is to promote the advancement, communication, and application of psychological science and knowledge to benefit society and improve lives.”
  • What APA’s major initiatives included prior to COVID-19’s impact on the world, such as implications of gun violence, immigration issues’ family / children impact, America’s opioid crisis, increasing impact of climate change on people’s emotional wellness / eco-anxiety, governmental efforts on The Hill, etc.
  • Specifics of APA’s vast COVID-19 response agenda
  • How APA’s deep richness in professional expertise – as represented by its diverse membership base – is being leveraged in service to APA’s members and also in service to many types of external audiences
  • What is included within APA’s continuously evolving COVID-19 Resource web link:
  • How the immediacy aspect of one’s communications-leadership role as a CCO – such as the position Alicia leads for APA – requires a constant balance between strategic insight and tactical nimbleness . . . and how other communications professionals can develop these critical skills
    • Keeping one’s eyes and mind open and aware of creative, strategic ideas – including cultivation of ideas from other diverse sources
    • Exploring fresh approaches and knowing how to prioritize / focus on the ones with strongest promise, based on key-audience needs and expectations
    • Developing the overarching mindset of maintaining creativity while staying in one’s lane of specific subject-matter expertise and knowing precisely where the association can make a meaningful impact
  • How the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 crisis may be felt downstream for decades to come… and how psychological resources must be available “for the long-haul”
  • Ways that APA is helping employers and providing both research / data-driven content and coping resources
  • How the larger APA Communications Team is working together to execute across both strategic and tactical action plans
  • How APA is executing outreach efforts in collaboration with other professional sectors for “a psychologically health workplace” via Office of Applied Psychology at APA
  • What Alicia thinks is “misinterpreted” most about psychology in general

    And more...
  •  Links:

business, Fletcher, PR, public relations, #MsInterPReted, planning, coronavirus, continuity, plans, crisis communications, COVID-19, mental wellness, healthcare, psychology, psychological, mental health, wellbeing, care, support, APA, American Psychological Association