There are many ways for you to support and promote the mental health of Ontario's children and youth. Below is a sample of the many opportunities throughout the year for you to honour children and youth and champion their right to mental health and well-being.
- Make a donation to support Children's Mental Health Ontario
- Speak to your MPP
- Attend CMHO’s Annual Conference
- Pass it on
- Speak to the media
Speak to your MPP
You can educate decision-makers and help influence child and youth mental health policies by speaking to your Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP). In fact, they often prefer to hear from ordinary citizens rather than organizations; so call your MPP and ask for a meeting, or send them a letter.
Resources you can use to speak up:
- Find your MPP's contact information here.
- How to Speak Up - The Canadian Mental Health Association (Ontario Branch) has developed excellent online materials on how to speak to your MPP.
- Tip Sheet: Do's and Dont's of Child Advocacy - 22 'must have' tips, published online by The Canadian Paediatric Society.
- Template Letters, created by Parents for Children's Mental Health, that you can send to your MPP.
Attend CMHO’s Annual Conference
Each year, CMHO invites professionals, policy-makers and families to a conference that features well-known, local and international speakers. Participants include CMHO member organizations, including executive directors, board members, managers and frontline workers, educators, youth, parents, caregivers, and more. Register as a participant, or submit a proposal to be a presenter.
Pass it on
Email information on this site to someone you know:
- Send the link to CMHO's most recent PRE-BUDGET SUBMISSION to your MPP.
The link is http://www.kidsmentalhealth.ca/documents/res-cmho-pre-budget-submission-2013.pdf;
- This page contains FAMILY-FRIENDLY RESOURCES about child and youth mental health problems; send the link to a friend who may be worried about their child.
The link is http://www.kidsmentalhealth.ca/parents/resources_parents.php;
- There may be an EVENT on this page that someone you know would like to know about.
The link is http://www.kidsmentalhealth.ca/news_and_events/events.php.
Speak to the media
Speaking to the media is a great way to educate people in your community, raise awareness and get the attention of decision-makers.
- Write an op-ed (opinion/editorial) piece: CMHA (Ontario)'s website takes you through all of the steps in the process, from 'how to place an op-ed' to 'what to do after you've written your op-ed';
- Write a letter to the editor: They can be used for different purposes such as responding to a previously published letter, editorial or article, sharing a point of view, carrying a message forward or attempting to influence politicians' perception of public opinion. They're efficient and cost-effective; simply ensure that your message is focussed, of interest to your community, and short. Here are 15 Tips from the National Post's letters editors to help you get started;
- Call in to a television or radio talk-show: It's a great way to get your message to thousands of listeners. If they're covering a topic that's relevant to child and youth mental health, make an effort to call in and share short, concise statements about current issues. Or, you can try contacting the program's producer to urge him/her to cover a specific child and youth mental health-related issue.