Advocacy by an individual or by an advocacy group typically aims to raise the profile and understanding of mental illness among government and non-government organizations, as well as the industry, education, workplace and academic sectors.
Advocacy can include a variety of activities, such as: media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research, public service announcements, or undertaking a poll – all designed to help develop policies and services aimed at improving the quality of life of people with mental illness.
Why it’s important to advocate for mental health
Twenty per cent of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness during their lifetime. Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures, while also impacting their families, friends and neighbours.
The ability to access effective mental health services can help make a big difference in the lives of those affected by mental illness – helping them build happier, healthier lives, find and maintain jobs, and stay out of trouble – but many people are only partly aware of the fact that effective treatment of most mental disorders is possible.
Advocacy can help combat the stigma attached to mental illnesses, which presents a serious barrier not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
What is Ontario Shores doing to advocate for mental health?
Ontario Shores Board of Directors and management team actively advocate for improvements to the mental health system in Ontario and across Canada. From providing input towards the development of provincial and federal polices to providing expertise in system and clinical framework, Ontario Shores remains committed to ensuring mental health care is at the forefront of health care discussion.