It's been just over a month since the release of the 2017 provincial budget and while we remain disappointed in the government's lack of investment for child and youth mental health, it is critical that we plan to now increase the momentum of our government relations and advocacy work.
We should be proud of the tremendous advocacy work we've done together over the past year, including MPP engagement, advocacy at Queen's Park, significant media and social media coverage, policy engagement with the most senior public service officials, and the outstanding work of our The New Mentality groups and Youth Action Committee - but more needs to be done. As we approach the next provincial election in June 2018, we must refresh and reinvigorate our government advocacy strategy – and it is critical that the voices of members, parents, youth and partners be united in a strong push for significant, strategic government investment.
We are in the final stages of completing our renewed government advocacy plan that will take us to the 2018 provincial budget and chart our course for election advocacy. With all political parties now focused on building their respective election platforms, it is imperative that we work together to ensure that child and youth mental health is a top political priority in EVERY party's platform. And we know that engaging parent and youth voices will be critical – constituents and voters have the best chance of putting enough pressure on politicians to include our sector on their agendas. In addition, our renewed plan will include: a strong focus on securing strategic media coverage on the issues facing youth and families seeking treatment; a broad MPP and Premier letter writing campaign and digital media campaign (Twitter, blogs, etc.); and organizing meetings with key MPPs and the Premier in their ridings with members, parents and youth constituents; several partner advocacy campaigns (including unions and other sector partners); and, a key data-based campaign in the fall.
In addition, CMHO is excited to be finalizing plans to work with a reputable and well-positioned government lobby group who will help shape our plan and lend important intelligence to inform our efforts. We will provide more information to members shortly.
Please stay tuned for more detailed information about our renewed advocacy plan and the important role our members will play in the coming months. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact Angela Fowler at email@example.com.