The Disaster Response Network is ACTIVE in response to COVID-19 & the Northern Alberta floods Click here to access & for more information
Toll Free: 1-888-424-0297

Advocacy in Alberta

Advocacy: Influencing people to create change – educating & mobilizing

Only with good information can good decisions be made

PAA spends over 1000 hours a year advocating for the unique value of psychology

It is a part of who we are:

The Psychologists’ Association of Alberta is the voice of, and for, psychology in Alberta. We are the voluntary body that advocates for psychology in Alberta, informs the public and the media, and advocates for consumers of psychotherapy, psychological, and mental health services.

2020-2025 Strategic Plan point: Advocate for psychology’s unique value (full strategic plan here)

 

Make an impact: Psychologists as Advocates with Elected Officials

The time is always now for advocacy.

Engaging grassroots lobbying initiatives are essential to success.  Active participation is crucial.

Psychologists are uniquely trained in a vast amount of areas: program development, consultation, supervision, behavioural (non-pharmacological) pain management, telehealth, cross-jurisdiction expertise, etc.

Psychologists have natural networks and spheres of influence for advocacy, with great potential to develop core relationships with key professionals.

Advocacy is not about competing with other professions.  It is about focusing on the unique value, or niche “sells”, of psychology – we add value.

We can, and do, make Alberta a psychologically healthy place to live.

Effective Advocacy – Unleash your potential

Assess

  • Define the situation

Plan

  • What are the goals & objectives?
  • Who are the target audiences?
  • What are the key messages?

Act

  • Develop & implement an advocacy plan
  • Engage with the media

Impact Larger Systems

Know who you are communicating with – identify & locate your elected officials & understand the various roles associated with their position.  Then:

Write a letter

  • Be direct, accurate, informative, courteous, constructive, available, & appreciative
  • Personalize your message
  • Address is correctly (e.g. ministers are addressed as Honourable)

Call

  • Present ideas clearly with concise facts & arguments
  • Have an exact call to action
  • Be persistent, but courteous

Meet in-person

  • Schedule the meeting
  • Research the issue
  • Supply fact sheets
  • Establish ties – know the staff scheduler, public relations office, & liaise with everyone

Build relationships

  • Honour an MLA at your event
  • Invite them to speak
  • Recognize their efforts
  • Approach them when you see them

Key Messages: Core Stories

Know your story & tell it.  Have a brief, clear story of the benefit of psychology in your experience & ask about their experiences.

PAA Position Statements

  • Psychologically healthy workplaces
  • Mental & behavioural health funding parity
  • Access for all Albertans
  • “Mental Health Therapist” is a disservice to Albertans
  • Counselling & psychotherapy = master’s degree
  • Alberta health care insurance plan coverage
  • Meaningful & effective school psychology

Infographics here 

The Value of Psychologists:

  • Accountable
  • Experts
  • Accessible
  • Trusted
  • Uniquely trained

Psychologists as practitioners, researchers, academics, & consultants, have demonstrated benefits, are in critical need, & are efficient & effective.

Partners in advocacy

Build relationships that matter, promote your profession, & assist elected officials to lead in ways that support the psychological health & wellness of our province.  Call or write your elected official today.

If you are meeting with a minister, deputy minister, or senior civil servant, coordinate your visit with the PAA so the CEO or a board member can join you.  If you are meeting with any other official, advise us & we will collaborate & support you as best as we can.

Resources

  • PAA Effective Advocacy with Elected Official webinar presentation slides – download
  • PAA Effective Advocacy Tip Sheet – download
  • PAA Advocacy Toolkit – download
  • Example of Access Advocacy in relation to Extended Health Insurance Providers – download
  • APA Call to Action – download
  • CSAE letter template for Parliamentary Secretaries re: funding for Canadian Associations – download
    • Parliamentary Secretary contact list – download
  • Framing C19: Making a Powerful Case for the Role of Government – download
  • Alberta Counsel – on twitter @albertacounsel; visit their website; subscribe to their e-newsletter The NEWS.
    • Alberta Counsel. (2020 March). Alberta’s Pandemic Response – Aggressive and Deliberate. The NEWS: Alberta’s Premier Review of Politics and Government Vitality, Issue 103. – download here
  • APA – Combating Bias and Stigma Related to COVID-19

 

PAA Membership

Not a member?

Join one of the strongest provincial professional associations in psychology 

 

Click Here