The Swiss Society for Health Psychology (Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Gesundheitspsychologie SGGPsy / Société Suisse de Psychologie de la Santé SSPsyS) is member of the Federation of Swiss Psychologists (FSP). Its main goal is the promotion of Health Psychology as an independent discipline of psychology in Switzerland. It was founded on April 19th, 1997 in Fribourg. Membership requires a university degree in Psychology and practical experience of at least two years in the field of Health Psychology.
As part of the strategy to establish Health Psychology as a separate discipline, the Swiss Society cooperates with other organizations and disciplines in similar fields e.g., Public Health Switzerland http://www.public-health.ch/logicio/pmws/publichealth__home__de.html
and Mental Health Network Switzerland http://www.npg-rsp.ch/de/metanav/english.html .
The Swiss Society for Health Psychology is currently headquartered at:
University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland
School of Social Work
Institute of Social Work and Health Riggenbachstrasse 16
Tel.: 062 957 21 36
Link to webpage: http://www.healthpsychology.ch/
Education, training and professionalisation:
There are at least four universities in Switzerland where health psychology is being taught, namely at the universities of Zurich, Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg. A Master Degree in health psychology (MSc) can be obtained in these universities. A postgraduate curriculum exists in order to attain the professional degree as Health Psychologist recognized by the FSP. With the new federal law on psychology (PsyG) that came into effect by April, 2013, Health Psychology is mentioned in the law as a practical specialization of Psychology in the health system comparable with Psychotherapy and quality standards for a continued formation that should lead to a federally recognized title of “Health Psychologist” were stipulated. Three universities in the French-speaking part of Switzerland have jointly developed a continued formation programme (Master of Advanced Studies MAS) that meets the quality standards. These standards were defined in a cooperative process in which the federal government, the universities, the professional organizations FSP and SGGPsy and the accreditation commission were involved.
In Switzerland, Health Psychologists are active in various settings; hospitals (e.g. tobacco prevention), research (at universities and universities of applied sciences) and in the field of networking. One important network, for instance, is the Mental Health Network Switzerland (Netzwerk Psychische Gesundheit/ Réseau Santé Psychique Suisse) which was initiated by the Swiss Federal Government and encompasses three Ministries as well as a health promotion foundation and the GDK/CDS (i.e. the committee of health ministers of the cantons). This network is coordinated by the health psychologist Alfred Künzler: http://www.npg-rsp.ch/ . The Swiss Society for Health Psychology is also consulted in decision making processes with regard to governmental strategies and law-making on relevant fields.
There is no Swiss journal of health psychology yet, but Swiss health psychologists publish in a variety of scientific journals. The Swiss Society for Health Psychology distributes a newsletter at least two times a year.