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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.

Download your infographic here ADVOCACY_ TAKE A STAND

Upholding Controversion Thraphy Laws – PAA Advocating for the Wellness of All Albertans. The psychological health & wellness of Albertans is paramount. We advocate that Advertisements with illegal and clearly unsubstantiated information should not be allowed in public forums. PAA contacted Honourable Associate Minister Mike Ellis in regards to the public safety concern related to false advertisement and claims to professional titles. Get all the facts here.


PAA extends our support for the College of Psychologists of New Brunswick’s opposition to New Brunswick Bill 35. The CPNB opposes the Bill that would allow educators with a master’s degree to administer and interpret psychological cognitive assessment instruments and call for extensive psychological training for the individuals who administer these assessments and interpret the results. Read the PAA’s letter of support here.


Schizophrenia Society of Alberta 04 March 2021 addressed a letter to premier Kenney from Alberta Alliance on Mental Health regarding the discontinuation of their funding in the spring of 2020. Prior to the termination of the funding, PAA was in active collaboration with the Alliance. PAA and many other organizations endorsed the letter to the premier, and you can read it here 2021 Mar Joint Letter to the Premier


Alberta Mental Health & Addictions Council 08 & 09 June 2020, PAA participated in the MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS ADVISORY COUNCIL  – STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT. Please note that these were live participatory focus group inputs – time was limited to two days with limited ability to consult members. Our input is based on:

  • PAA position statements
  • Previous PAA policy briefs
  • APA statements and fact sheets
  • CPA statements and fact sheets

The goal was to ensure that the science and practice of psychology was best represented in this focus group and to this council. Here are PAA’s advocacy Responses to the questions asked:

  1. Building the Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care
  2. Building the Recovery-Oriented Communities of Care 
  3. Supporting that relationship 
  4. Recovery capital enhancement
  5. Indigenous ways of knowing

Find questions and definitions here

Effective Advocacy – Unleash your potential


  • Define the situation



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



  • 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 it correctly (e.g. ministers are addressed as Honourable)


  • 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

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.


  • 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’s Advocacy Work 2020 Advocacy


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