High-Impact Psychology: Helping do-gooders to make an impact in the mental health space

Inga Grossmann
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Support score: 0Mental health

HIPsy (High Impact Psychology) is a branch of Effective Altruism focused on how to do the most good within the field of psychology in research, practice, and business. Together with our supporters from the Global Priorities Institute, the Center for Effective Altruism, and the Happier Lives Institute, HIPsy aims to help people engaged with psychology or mental health maximize their impact.
The goal of HIPsy is to increase the likelihood of high-impact decisions, make collaboration and information processes more effective, and reduce the risk of value drift for people engaged in psychology or mental health. HIPsy will be focused on fostering resources such as networking and collaboration opportunities, up-to-date high-quality information, and career and work advice.

Outcome of our pilot

We assessed the demand of High-Impact Psychology with the help of EAIF seed funding end of 2022. The greatest interest could be proven for activities related to the field of mental health. We measured this by the number of Effective Altruists who signed up for mental health related activities (n=155) compared to those targeting psychologists (n=55) or psychology for EA causes (n=64). Our piloted events at EAGx's were popular, had many participants, 3x 50-100 participants per meet-ups (5 star ratings on swapcard),3x 150-200 participants for the overview talk on Mental Health as a cause area. For the latter, 9 out of 10 participants stated they have learned something that might increase their impact, and that they might recommend the talk to others.

What do we need funding for?

Jon Massmann under supervision of Inga Grossmann aims to host and evaluate the most wanted activities, including offering content regarding topics that people voted for would increase their impact most. John has a good track record of hosting events such as retreats, workshops, meetups, as well as expertise in the mental health area.
We'd need $ 25.000 to run this follow-up project for 6 months.

These are suggested activities:

Provide materials:

  • 98/155 people engaged with mental health stated they’d benefit from a new thorough mental health cause area report including a list of high impact-opportunities (135/155)
    -> We'd want to finalize a new mental health cause area report including career advice together with High-Impact Medicine and the Happier Lives Institute (Michael Plant, Joel McGuire, Akhil Bansal, etc.)
  • 130/155 List with impactful orgs in the space → finalize list that we drafted
  • 105/155 want a website listing all resources related to MH +39/54 people with psychology background want such website
    → update our website, which is https://ea-psych.com/
  • 101/155 want info on gaps in mental health sector
  • Update the Research Topics of Effective Thesis for their Mental Health category (agreed with Kirkham), by working together with field experts from relevant sub-areas of Inga’s network

Workshops based on the topic preferences stated in our surveys,
More than 100 of 154 EAs engaged with Mental Health say learning more about these would increase their work’s impact:

  • “How to evaluate the effectiveness of Mental Health interventions”,
  • “Research on effective MH interventions”, and
  • “High-Impact Opportunities in EA Mental Health”

Hosting retreats

  • each 42/43 EAs put themselves on the waiting list for attending an in-person retreat for people working in Global Mental Health/ EA Community Mental Health

Hosting of online meetups

  • 99 of 154 EAs engaged with Mental Health put themselves on the waiting list for a Meetup to meet each other
  • 46 EAs put themselves on the waiting list for attending an online meetup for EA’s already working in mental health

Match people for mentorship and advice

  • 119 of 154 people engaged with EA Mental Health stated they’d benefit from career advice and mentorship + stated related topics
  • 75 of 154 people engaged with EA Mental Health listed topics they’d feel comfortable giving others advice on