Each year, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8, recognizing the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world. The day is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges and inequalities that women face and to advocate for gender equality.
It is no secret that women have historically faced greater barriers than men when it comes to fully participating in the economy. Disparities between men and women persist in the form of pay gaps, uneven opportunities for advancement, and unbalanced representation in important decision-making. Although women represent 58.4% of the U.S. workforce as of September 2022, women only represent 35% of senior leadership positions. And while 82% of Americans say it’s important that men and women have the same career opportunities, only about a third of Americans say their place of business prioritizes putting women in leadership positions.
Here at PAR, we are proud to have a staff that is 60% women. When we polled our staff to ask about women coworkers whose work deserved to be acknowledged publicly, the response was overwhelming—citing women who inspired them in their day-to-day life, those who were contributing their time and energy to charities and causes, those who had faced personal struggles, and many who had celebrated incredible achievements. We are so proud to work among such women today and every day.
In honor of Black History Month, it is important to acknowledge that the accomplishments of Black Americans have too often been overlooked. We would like to take this opportunity to recognize several notable Black psychologists who are responsible for historic contributions to the field. These individuals and their work deserves to be amplified in order to build a future based on equity, inclusion, and opportunity.
Dr. Beckham is known as the first African American to hold the title of school psychologist. He established the first psychological laboratory at Howard University in Washington, DC. He is also credited with starting the first psychological clinic in a public school at DuSable High School in Chicago.
Dr. Canady is most known for being the first psychologist to study how the race of a test proctor may create bias in IQ testing. He found that the rapport between examinee and examiner could have significant impact and provided suggestions to reduce bias.
This husband-and-wife team are known for their famous “doll study,” which showed that Black children, when asked to choose a doll most like themselves, would disproportionately choose White dolls. Their research was used in Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954 to argue that racially separate schools were psychologically harmful and violated the 14th Amendment.
Dr. Prosser was the first African American woman to receive her doctoral degree in psychology. She spent most of her short life focused on teaching and education.
Dr. Prosser's dissertation research focused on self-esteem and personality in matched pairs of Black students, with half of those studied attending segregated schools and the other half attending integrated schools. She found that Black students fared better in segregated schools. Her findings were controversial in the years leading to Brown v. Board of Education but were supported by people such as Carter Woodson and W.E.B. DuBois.
Dr. Sumner was the first African American to receive a PhD in psychology. His research focused on understanding racial bias and encouraging educational justice. He was one of the founders of the psychology department at Howard University, where he served as chair from 1928–1954.
For more than 100 years, the 11th day of the 11th month has been set aside as a day to recognize and honor America’s servicemembers—it’s a day to publicly say “thank you” to all living veterans—all ages, all ranks, all branches, all years.
At PAR, we recognize that freedom is not free and we thank America’s service members for their dedication, bravery, and courage. We would also like to acknowledge PAR employees who have spent time in uniform: Adam Barrett-Clarke, Teri Lyon, Mike Nolan, and Greg Schmitt.
We know veterans can face unique obstacles while serving and after separation or retirement from the military. Several of our assessment tools can help you better serve those clients and patients. The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) evaluates a broad range of disorders, including PTSD, anxiety and depression, and substance use. The Trauma Symptom Inventory-2 (TSI-2) evaluates the effects of traumatic events including combat, sexual and physical assault, abuse and neglect, and more. And for those service members who aren’t sure how they should follow their military careers, this Veteran SDS white paper can help you help them find a rewarding career.
The week of November 7–11 is National School Psychology Week (NSPW). Being a school psychologist has always been crucial, and given the current shortage of school psychologists, along with increasing demand for your services, your role is more demanding—and important—than ever. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, here are some resources and supports that may help.
Sponsored by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the theme for NSPW this year is “Together We Shine.” The events of the past few years have led to disconnection and even isolation. While we each have an inner light, when we work together, we can shine brighter to help others in our schools and in our communities.
Here are some suggested activities for NSPW:
Counselors: Help students see the power of working together by focusing on these skills.
Help students develop their social and active listening skills.
Engage students in discussions about building self-esteem and confidence.
Encourage students to develop social connections.
Schools: Offer additional activities that emphasize togetherness.
Hold a scavenger hunt, asking students to find someone who makes a positive contribution to the school.
Initiate classroom discussions that encourage active listening, and discuss how different opinions can lead to enlightenment.
Inspire students to express gratitude by having school administrators, teachers, and staff model the behavior.
PAR would like to thank all school psychologists for the essential services they provide to their students, and for placing your trust in our instruments.
Looking for more information about PAR school resources and assessments? Visit our school resources page.
November may conjure up images of colorful leaves, cornstalks, and turkey, but, for the past 57 years, it has also been National Career Development (NCD) Month.
Championed by the National Career Development Association (NCDA), the purpose of NCD Month is to focus on activities that can help individuals find, grow, or change career paths. Career professionals, students, and employees are encouraged to engage in a variety of activities like career workshops, résumé refinement, and career exploration and awareness.
Here are some activities for individuals interested in promoting career development:
Participate in NCDA’s annual poetry and art contest, which promotes career development.
Encourage students to dress up for their dream careers for a day.
Hold a career fair.
Help students or employees update their résumés.
Inform students about job shadowing opportunities, internships, and tours.
For businesses, set up a mentor program for your employees. Encourage your staff to be mentors or get a mentor.
For career professionals (or any professional looking to provide career guidance to clients or students), the Self-Directed Search is a time-tested career assessment tool that matches an individual’s aspirations, activities, and talents to the career choices and educational opportunities that fit them best.
To learn more, visit self-directed-search-com.
Each year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and other advocates sponsor activities related to Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), dedicated to educating the public about mental illness, including issues such as available treatments and methods of support.
This year’s theme for MIAW is “What I Wish I Had Known.” Individuals who have dealt with mental illness will have an opportunity to share their lived experiences, with an emphasis on learnings that could have helped them if they’d known them sooner. You can view videos from people sharing these experiences.
Other organizations such as Mental Health America (MHA) also have events planned during the week, including a free webinar on navigating barriers to treatment. NAMI Minnesota is offering a free week-long series of classes on various aspects of mental illness.
When you are looking for solutions to help your clients, patients, or students facing mental illness, PAR has a wide variety of mental health resources that can help across constructs.
Suicide is a major mental health concern that devastates lives and causes unimaginable pain. In fact, in 2020, suicide was the 12th leading cause of death in the U.S., with nearly 46,000 people dying this way. What can we as mental health professionals do to help conquer this issue?
We need to understand better the clinical reasons behind the decision to commit suicide. Suicide doesn’t have a clear etiology, and many factors influence whether a person will become suicidal, including their neurobiology, personal and family history, stressful events they may have experienced, and sociocultural environment. However, suicide can be viewed as “a behavior motivated by the desire to escape from unbearable psychological pain.” Psychological factors, including personality and emotions, also contribute. Interestingly, decision-making impairment seems to be an increasingly important influence.
It's critical that we promote within our own organizations and communities the fact that suicide is preventable. Years ago, researchers found that almost half of people who commit suicide visit a primary care doctor within 1 month of death but don’t admit to or consult with the doctor about any suicide intent or ideation. Many people who commit suicide are social and active—they are struggling under the surface and do not seek help.
September 5–11 is National Suicide Prevention Week. This week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) encourages everyone to put the topic of suicide prevention top of mind. Make sure your patients, clients, and students know about suicide risk factors, warning signs, and what they can do to prevent suicide. And be sure to emphasize the new three-digit phone number for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline—made active across the country in July: 988.
For more information about what you can do this week to promote suicide prevention, visit this site.
If you are treating patients and need more information about tools you can use for assessing suicide intent, visit our mental health resources page.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, you are not alone. Dial 988 to reach the Suicide Prevention Lifeline for immediate help, 24/7.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop in individuals who have experienced or witnessed life-threatening events such as domestic terrorism, military combat, natural disasters, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood. While commonly associated with members of the military, PTSD can affect anyone who has been exposed to these events.
The purpose behind PTSD Awareness Day is to help more people understand the scope and impact of this disorder and to provide those affected with paths to healing.
With the number of people (12 million) experiencing PTSD, we know your time is limited and your patient demand is growing. There are several trauma resources that can help you quickly assess symptoms in children, adolescents, adults, and veterans.
PAR offers several instruments and tools to help you help people struggling with mental health and PTSD—including the TSI-2, TSCC, TSCYC, DAPS, and PSS. Plus, we have several other resources available to you:
School assessment and solutions. If you are a school psychologist or practitioner who works in schools, we offer solutions that are specific to you. Visit our school assessment resources page to learn more.
Healthcare resources. If you work in a clinical setting helping patients or in an educational setting working with students, PAR Healthcare can provide free training on new instruments (that can also be used in your curriculum). For more information, visit the PAR Healthcare page.
Continuing education. We offer free webinars and continuing education content through a variety of sessions relevant to the field of psychological assessment and practice. Visit our PARtalks homepage, and join us for an upcoming session.
Free training. We offer free online training on the PAR Training Portal. Our online training offers administration and scoring guidance for many PAR products (including those that evaluate trauma and PTSD), along with development and normative information. Sign up for free or log in today.
Remote administration. PARiConnect is the most reliable platform in the industry and is constantly evolving with the addition of important new features, such as the Digital Library and interactive bell curve. Sign up for free or log in today.
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to shed light on the impact of Alzheimer’s in our communities. About 6.5 million Americans age 65 years and older—or 1 in 9 people in this age group—live with Alzheimer’s dementia (i.e., dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease). This number is expected to grow as the baby-boom generation ages.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior in primarily older people. Average survival after diagnosis in people age 65 years and older is 4 to 8 years, but some individuals live up to 20 years with the disease. This takes a huge toll on both those living with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them.
There are many ways to support people in your community who are dealing with the daily effects of Alzheimer’s disease:
Learn about the risk factors and incidence rates of Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org to read facts and figures, find resources for help, and learn about advocacy.
“Go purple” in June to raise awareness. Wear purple, turn your Facebook page purple, and share your story on social media using the hashtags #ENDALZ and #GoPurple.
Contribute your time or money to organizations that support people living with Alzheimer’s, like the Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, or a local group.
For more information about what you can do in June to highlight Alzheimer’s disease, visit https://www.alz.org/abam/overview.asp.
Looking for products to assess dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? Learn more.
May is when Americans recognize the service and sacrifice members of the military and their families have made—and continue to make—for their country.
Introduced by Senator John McCain and designated by Congress in 1999, Military Appreciation Month provides opportunities for Americans to honor and remember those who serve and have served—and recognize and thank those who support them.
2022 observations include:
May 1: Loyalty Day is a time to reflect on American heritage
May 6: Military Spouse Appreciation Day pays tribute to the partners who support service members
May 13: Children of Fallen Patriots Day raises awareness of the struggles facing children of fallen service members
May 21: Armed Forces Day honors those in all branches who are currently serving
May 30: Memorial Day provides a time to pause and remember the service members who sacrificed their futures to ensure ours
May is also Month of the Military Caregiver, which recognizes the people who care for more than two million veterans.
During the month of May, many organizations give back to those who are active military or have previously served. Here is a list of businesses that are offering Military Appreciation Month discounts.
Families, caregivers, active servicemembers, veterans, and retirees face unique circumstances that may require your assistance, and PAR has developed a range of products to help you meet these needs, including the DAPS, the PSS, and the TSI-2 (to assess symptoms of PTSD); the PAS, the PAS-O, and PAI (to evaluate for a broad range of symptoms, including anxiety and depression); and the SDS (to assist veterans with postmilitary careers).